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“maggie’s plan” movie review

Maggie's Plan

Every time I see Greta Gerwig in a movie, I just want to be her friend. She seems so down-to-earth and authentic and, like the best actors, she never seems to be acting.

In Rebecca Miller’s new film, Maggie’s Plan, Gerwig plays the title character — a Manhattan millennial who’s made a career out of helping students navigate the intersection of art and commerce, and who hears her own biological clock ticking.

Although her good friend, Tony (Bill Hader), assures her it will all work out, she tells him, “I don’t like leaving my destiny to destiny.”

And she devises a plan.

She decides to find a sperm donor and get artificially inseminated but, of course, that’s when the Universe decides to introduce her to John (Ethan Hawke) an adjunct professor in ficto-critical anthropology (which, as an aside, is one of the many reasons I love this movie: it’s smart, with a New York edge and the ability to affectionately laugh at the same things that make its creative characters tick).

John is married to Georgette (Julianne Moore), a full professor at Columbia with a thick Danish accent, but he’s unhappy that her work has eclipsed his and that she has no time for him. “Every relationship has a rose and a gardener, and she’s the rose,” John tells Maggie. “I’m the gardener and I have a black thumb.”

Maggie's Plan - Greta and Julianne

Maggie allows John to be the rose, reading and editing his novel-in-progress and nurturing his bruised ego. They get married and Miller fast forwards to their lives as parents of three-year-old Lily — whose name, I just realized, is also a flower! While John tends to his career, Maggie tends to everything else. She is frustrated, exhausted and feeling neglected.

“Am I so capable that I don’t get any attention?” she asks him. Um, yes.

Realizing she’s fallen out of love with John and that all she ever really wanted was to be a mother, she devises a new plan to reunite John and his ex-wife, and she enlists the help of Georgette herself.

Does Maggie’s plan work? Is she able to take control of her own life or does the Universe have other plans for her?

Thanks to Miller (who, as another aside, is the daughter of legendary playwright Arthur Miller and wife of legendary actor Daniel Day-Lewis), the story plays out with humor and empathy and I’m still thinking about it days later.

After seeing this movie and remembering how much I liked The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, I’m going to go find the rest of Miller’s work and spend a day or two binge watching. That’s my plan.


  1. Thanks for this review- another movie to add to my list. Love the plot!

  2. Sounds like the movie hits on some real life issues! Many women struggle with tending to “everything else” and putting their own lives on hold to do so. It sounds like a great movie to watch with some yummy snacks. But my hope for the ending would be that they actually try to work on their marriage!

  3. What a great story! I hope it makes it’s way to Philadelphia. I really enjoy Greta too.

  4. I’d be very interested to hear how it turns out! I hope they all find happiness. And I love Ethan Hawke. I haven’t seen him in anything for ages.

  5. Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC says:

    Ooh, this looks great. Thanks, I would not have even heard of this.

  6. This sounds like a good one. I will be on the look out for it. I just love Julianne Moore!

  7. We went to the theatre to go see this movie on Sunday but instead went to Lobster. OMG….what a weird movie. After reading your review, we clearly made a terrible choice. I adore Julianne Moore, too, We plan one see this one tomorrow night.

  8. This sounds like just the ticket! You’ve made it sound irresistible and I don’t know Greta Gerwig so that’s always exciting- to find a new actress. Thanks!

  9. Sounds like a great movie, can’t wait to watch it!

  10. Great review. It really makes me want to see this movie! I’ll have to add it to the list!

  11. This sounds like an interesting movie with lots of twists!

  12. thsi movie looks too cute. I must watch it when it comes out on DVD.

  13. “Good luck with that bossy pants”” ROFLMAO!!
    Normally I don’t watch R rated films but I have to admit the trailer has me interested!

  14. I just know I would LOVE this movie based on your review! Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to watch.

  15. This sounds like a really good movie! Definitely one for me to take my mom to.

  16. This sounds like a great movie! I really want to see it now. Prior to reading this, I hadn’t heard about before reading this and I’m so glad I did!

  17. Love the trailer it looks great! I’ll be watching this one for sure!

  18. Thanks for this review! A great movie to add to my summer list. Love it!

  19. This sounds like a great movie with a relatable plot. Looks like there’s going to be a lot of great movies this summer!

  20. I never heard of this actress of this movie. This is definitely one I plan to see now. TY for the heads up tip

  21. Tonya C says:

    That looks like a great movie! Julianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses.

  22. This movie sounds like a good one! I like the plot of it and the cast has some of my favorites in it!

  23. This sounds like a great summer movie to see with the girlfriends, thanks for the review!

  24. It does sound good. And you’re right, the best actors never seem like they’re acting. 🙂

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