Review: Maggie's Plan, B
Rated R, 98 minutes
There are times when our plans don't go as expected, and we wish we could undo them. That is the subject of the charming new indie dramedy "Maggie's Plan," that seems to turn the tables on many of the standard cinematic rom com conventions. A single woman (Greta Gerwig), who is planning on inseminating herself with the help of a friend (Travis Fimmel of "Warcraft") to have a baby, falls in love with a married man (Ethan Hawke), then devises a strategy to reunite him with his former wife (Julianne Moore) three years later. Directed, written and co-produced by Rebecca Miller, of "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" (and wife to Daniel Day-Lewis and daughter of acclaimed playwright Arthur Miller), "Maggie's Plan" is an engaging, touching look at falling in love, out of love then in love again. The film is grounded in convincing form by current indie queen Gerwig, of "Frances Ha" and "Mistress America" fame; her down-to-earth appeal works in her favor here, and she's adept at both comedy and drama, with a couple of poignant scenes: watch her face as she describes her late mother to Hawke, or when she is frustrated over her situation and can't seem to get out of it. Gerwig is strongly supported by Hawke as the likable but distant man is married to, her pals, "Saturday Night Live" vets Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph, Fimmel as her "pickle salesman" baby daddy and in a showy but fun role, Oscar-winner Moore (who steals most of her scenes) as Hawke's brilliantly successful Danish first wife, who puts butter in her coffee. Fun, bittersweet and pleasant, "Maggie's Plan" has a plot that is far more suitable for the movies and not for real life, but you'll still have a good time, thanks in large part to the charming, smart Gerwig.