Maggie’s Plan

3.5 out of 5 stars

This film has all the elements of a 90s rom-com: the meet-cute, the contrived setup and the all too predictable resolution but it zooms by them all so fast in a few quick scenes, leaving the rest of the film to ponder the more interesting question: what happens next? What if the fairy-tale like ending is not as happy and neat as these rom-coms would have you believe? Writer-director Rebecca Miller’s clever and intriguing delivery is not without its own indie drama contrivances but the smart characterizations (not just of the main characters but also the obligatory best/married friends) and witty and realistic dialogue make the film not only tolerable, but actually enjoyable. It also helps that Maggie’s competitor in love, a Danish ice queen, though at times too broadly and stereotypically written, is played wonderfully straight and non-hysterically (but definitely hysterically funnily) by Julianne Moore. Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig’s neurotic NY intelligentsia types complete the love triangle and while both are great, the latter is in danger of being typecast as she plays almost the same character as she did in Frances Ha and many other indie dramas in the last few years. While ultimately the film is still a rom-com, it is one for the millennials and anyone who’s bored of the rom-com formula, and Lena Dunham and Woody Allen would’ve been proud of this film.

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