Maggie's Plan

Maggie's Plan

In Theatres: 
Jun 10, 2016
Running Time: 
98 minutes

Romance movies tend to follow the same hackneyed formula where two people fall in love, go through some sort of struggle, and then come out stronger in the end. They’re mostly fairytale fantasies designed to pull at your heartstrings. Every once in awhile, however, a film comes along and tells a genuine romance story that isn’t just about hugs and kisses but explores a deeper connection between people and attraction. Maggie’s Plan is one such film.


Maggie (Greta Gerwig) has never been too successful when it comes to dating and relationships, but despite all that she still wants to be a mother. With the help of an old acquaintance (Travis Fimmel), she goes the whole artificial insemination route although her plan runs awry when she meets John (Ethan Hawke), who just so happens to be in a loveless marriage with Georgette (Julianne Moore). The two quickly develop a romance together, but life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, and plans can change.


Love is messy. It’s not this straight shot to the top where everyone gets exactly what they want and lives happily ever after. Maggie’s Plan is a smart and sometimes funny, sometimes sad drama that explores the love life of Maggie and the decisions she makes. Spoiler alert; they’re not all good ones. Maggie feels like a real person and not just some character on screen. Initially things are great between her and John, but the honeymoon period ends, and she begins to question her love for him. Eventually, her plan changes from having a baby to getting John back together with his ex-wife. It’s a strange plot point, but it surprisingly fits the story.


Nobody in the film is perfect. There are times where I adored Maggie and all her quirks, and then there were times where I thought she was a horrible person. The same can be said about John or Georgette. What Maggie’s Plan does so well is it still makes you care about these people regardless of whether you hate or like them; you’re interested in their love story, as strange and awkward as it may be.


There are times where the dialogue can get a little too complex and high-brow for my taste. John’s job title, for instance, is "ficto-critical anthropologist,” whatever that may be. There are some conversations that simply go in one ear and out the other. Still, the script is very well written does a great job at conveying its message.


Maggie’s Plan is not your average romance film. It’s much deeper than that. It’s not afraid to show the happy ups and troubling downs of romance and embraces the flaws of human nature. With a great story and strong performances throughout, this is one film you don’t want to pass up.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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