Maggie’s Plan (2015)
I’m not going to lie; I still don’t get Greta Gerwig. She always seems to just play herself. Fortunately, in Maggie’s Plan it really works! It also helps that the movie is extremely well done. It’s funny, sad, and a bit over the top, but only to emphasize some very bitter truths about relationships, genders, and certain personality types.
Maggie (Gerwig) is a planner and when things don’t get her way, she finds practical solutions, even when those solutions seem questionable. She wants to have a baby, she finds a sperm donor. She wants to leave her husband, she tries to reunite him with his ex-wife. The end of the movie seems to ask us: How much can we shape our own destiny? But that’s really not what’s interesting here.
Instead I marvelled at the fantastic portrayal of the three main character types and how they interact: proactive Maggie, who just wants to do the right thing; her husband (Ethan Hawke) who resented his ex-wife’s type A personality, even though she brought out the best in him. And Julianne Moore is fantastic as the brilliant scholar, who is both tough and vulnerable, extremely smart, and useless at life. I’ve rarely witnessed such complex and authentic characters that I am happy to forgive the slightly cheesy ending.