Monday, 25 June 2018

Best-laid plans make way for high comedy

THERE are actually two distinct plans in this sophisticated romcom from writer-director Rebecca Miller, whose last

THERE are actually two distinct plans in this sophisticated romcom from writer-director Rebecca Miller, whose last film was 2009’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

We start by meeting Maggie, played by Greta Gerwig, whose arguably most mainstream role to date was alongside Henley’s own Russell Brand in the 2011 remake of Arthur.

She is also notable for her collaborations with writer-director Noah Baumbach: Greenberg (2010), opposite Ben Stiller, and Frances Ha (2013), which saw her nominated for multiple awards.

Having carried that film to great acclaim, she is again in the title role here — though this time around she is sharing the spotlight with the likes of Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore, an Oscar nominee and winner respectively.

Back to Maggie and her plans (plural). When we first encounter her, she is determined to compensate for her many previous unsuccessful relationships by having a baby.



However, just after a sperm donation courtesy of a former college acquaintance (Travis Fimmel) gets her pregnant, she falls big-time for John (Hawke), a college professor who inconveniently happens to be married to the haughty, high-rolling Georgette (Moore).

Already unhappy with his marital lot, John quickly decides to jump ship with Maggie and play dad to her baby daughter.

But Maggie soon gets bored with her new arrangement, and so resolutely hatches a new plan — this time to reunite John and Georgette.

Sharp dialogue from Miller and standout performances from all concerned make for an entertaining watch.

Moore is terrifyingly terrific as Georgette, a Columbia University professor whose brilliant academic career leaves her little time for much else.

Hawke, meanwhile, has fun playing John, an egocentric “ficto-critical anthropologist” and aspiring novelist whose idea of helping around the house is an agreeable meeting with his publisher.

Maggie’s Plan is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

Review: Matthew Wilson



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