Maggie's Plan full movie review - Maggie's Plan
Maggie's Plan, the new film from writer/director Rebecca Miller, is an absolute joy of a film. What initially drew me to the film and more, or less convinced me to go out and see it at the theatre was because of it's star, Greta Gerwig.
Over the past couple of years with the promptings and recommendations of a good friend, I have been introduced to Gerwig's work with her partner and fellow writer and director, Noah Baumbach. I haven't seen their work together on the film Greenberg yet, but films such as Frances Ha and Mistress America, were films I absolutely adored and made me an instant fan of Gerwig's writing as well as her very natural yet nuanced performances in the films. I have also found that Baumbach who in films such as Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding, could be very bitter and cynical at times with his characters and screenplays, which is not a criticism as both Squid and Margot are very well done films, but since he has been paired with Gerwig as an actress as well as doing co-authorship of the films, I have found Baumbach's films to be a lot more playful and also have a certain feel of the French New Wave films of the 1960's as well as a certain freshness that captures the spirit and the times of today's generation of millennials as well as being totally and completely relatable and also a lot of fun and also very pleasant viewing material. What modern day twenty something could not relate to the aloof and sometimes despondent feeling of post secondary education life as well as trying to find a job and a name for yourself like what was done so brilliantly and effectively in Frances Ha? Gerwig, who I always find really seems to brighten any picture that she's in, does continue to do great work in Maggie's Plan also. The film has certain qualities that are somewhat relatable to her work with Baumbach, such as the naturalistic acting as well as being a twenty, or thirty something young adult who still has so much yearning and curiosity not only about herself, but the world around her and in this case the ever so complicated world and events of relationships comes into play. Here as in the other films, the characters are all very hip and modern and have a certain relaxed and at ease quality to them that I personally find quite charming and perhaps more accurate of today's generation of college and post college university students than the mainstream garbage that Hollywood is trying to capture. Trust this and other indies to do a much better job on that. While at times, Maggie's Plan seems to borrow from the usual standard ideas and plot devices that go with most romantic comedies, or films dealing with relationships, I am happy to say that I enjoyed this one ever so much more than the usual fare that is out there not just because of the absolutely well scripted and written characters, but also because like the other films I mentioned, the characters all have a very relaxed yet very likable charm to them which at times is absolutely radiating and it is hard not to either empathize with them, or feel total joy in watching their everyday lives because they are so carefree yet so human that it is easy to relate and have fun with them at the same time. All three main actors from Gerwig to Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore are all terrific here and they all continue to show what great actors they are in general and how their performances are elevated so much more by a great script and a very capable director. The film has fun with it's look at relationships and the things that make them complicated, but also the things that we all probably look for in life and in love with other people. There are certainly good times and bad and it is all chronicled here in perfect order and there is always a certain joy and optimism, especially with Gerwig's character that I found to be absolutely infectious and kept me in a continued almost happy like bliss while watching her and her character. This is a very insightful films on life and love that proves to be a lot better than the run of the mill stuff we usually see at theatres and it is so much better than that and also a lot of fun as well. Terrific writing, performances and direction make Maggie's Plan so much better than I thought it would be and yet it comes out as one of this year's best hidden gems and one that deserves to be sought out and seen by others who are curious, or enticed about anything I mentioned above.