Maggie (Greta Gerwig) wants to have a baby so badly, that she’s ready to be artificially inseminated to do so. This odd bird, who dresses like a WWII school girl, has just inseminated herself when, alas- the doorbell rings! Who could it be? Her love interest of course. They have sex for the first time on the same night and she becomes pregnant. Is the baby his? Even if you think that you might be interested in answering this question when it arises at the beginning of the film, chances are that by the end of the film you won’t care either way.
Maggie’s Plan is even more convoluted. After she falls in love with and marries John, she wants to return him to her ex-wife. Maggie’s love interest, John (Ethan Hawke), is a childish, selfish man who doesn’t give when in love, and therefore is never happy with what he gets. He begins an affair with Maggie while he is still married to the difficult, hyper-intellectual Georgette, played with painful unease by Julianne Moore.
Hawke gives a measured and consistent performance as John, but there is no palatable chemistry between him and his ex-wife Georgette, or his new lover, Maggie. Moore uses a painfully faltering accent throughout the film. She is a New Yorker cartoon of a real person. Gerwig’s nasally delivery, whiny demeanor and fumbling character is almost unwatchable.
The three main performers are overshadowed by Maya Rudolph (Felicia) and Bill Hader (Tony). They play friends of Maggie and bring buoyancy to the dreary film. Both Rudolph and Heder have a comedy background, yet their characters feel more genuine and natural then the three dramatic performers in the film.
Halting along, the film has a frustratingly predictable and maudlin conclusion.
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Director: Rebecca Miller
Writer: Rebecca Miller, Karen Rinaldi
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader
Run Time: 98 minutes
Release Date: June 3, 2016 (in Houston)
MPAA Rating: R