For a very enjoyable, quirky Indie, see Maggie’s Plan. For one thing, the cast is great. Starring as Maggie is Greta Gerwig, a fairly frequent Indie presence, having headlined the critics-loved-it, jewel of a film, Frances Ha. Maggie is a self-proclaimed failure at love, but yearns to have a child, and wants to do it the old-fashioned way: artificial insemination. I’ll leave the thrill of discovery up to you, the viewer, as to the sperm donor, but I’ll just say that his most notable achievement is producing the best pickle ever — even Whole Foods wants it. The plot so far would yield a decent enough RomCom, right? But to complicate matters, (and to give Ethan Hawke an opportunity to redeem himself after his most recent string of mediocre offerings post-Boyhood), Hawke’s character John enters Maggie’s life, and one problem is that John is married to Georgette (Julianne Moore with the cheesiest Danish accent ever – no Oscar for this one, Jules), an eccentric and magnetic goofball of a wife, and then the happy ending starts seeming more and more remote. Cast-wise, Maggie’s best friends, Tony (Bill Hader) and Felicia (Maya Rudolph), add a nice dose of Saturday Night Live alumni humor. Everyone is so good, but it’s really Greta, in her clunky loafers and with her frumpy style sense, that gives us a fully formed, nuanced, and unique character in Maggie.
Rebecca Miller is at the helm, and she puts it all together, bringing out the best in everyone. Miller’s specialty is Indie dramas (Personal Velocity, Ballad of Jack and Rose, Private Lives of Pippa Lee) that feature terrific ensemble casts, and each one earns right about a B to B minus. But Maggie’s Plan is her first real attempt at comedy, and it is here that she has found her home. Her style works perfectly in this New York setting, and she trusts in her actors to deliver on the screenplay that she co-wrote.
I really really really liked this movie a lot. It’s mostly comedic, slightly reminiscent of Woody Allen at his best, and you should watch it to see Maya Rudolph’s T-shirt, at the very least. Oh, and Wallace Shawn is in it. Oh, and just one more thing — Rachael Horovitz produced it, and no sister of a Beastie Boy (Ad Rock Adam Horovitz) would be associated with a project that wasn’t totally cool, I am sure. – [DVD]
DVD Release Date: 8/23/16