Maggie’s Plan is an indie romantic comedy starring Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Bill Hader. It’s written and directed by Rebecca Miller, which is notable because there are still so few films written and directed by women.
Gerwig plays Maggie Hardin, a thirty-something college lecturer who has never had a sustained relationship and has decided to give up trying and have a child on her own. But then she meets John Harding (Hawke), an anthropology professor and aspiring novelist who is married to Georgette (Moore), an ambitious academic. Maggie quickly develops a crush on Harding, whose marriage is unhappy, and her life soon turns into a roller coaster ride as her various plans (including her complicated big plan - the one in the title) run into serious problems.
Maggie’s Plan is certainly entertaining, with a number of memorable scenes, great cinematography, and appropriately quirky acting by a fine cast. The first half hour in particular was a lot of fun. But ultimately I was disappointed (my expectations were too high). Some of that quirky acting, especially by Moore, didn’t really work for me, and the story as a whole wasn’t as engaging as it could have been. In a romantic comedy, you can expect a contrived plot, but too many scenes felt false to me. But then romantic comedies are generally not my thing, even if they’re indie films.
Maggie’s Plan gets somewhere between *** and ***+. My mug is up.