There are many that live their lives with deep precision, meticulous planning along the way that ensures that it leads to a desired result. These individuals seem to disregard the concept of destiny as the concept of an unforeseeable force that aligns their lives into place is baffling and uncomfortably confronting. Rebecca Miller is a filmmaker who finds fascination from such an idea, with a character who for so long has been used to this particular approach, but instead of indulging such a philosophy, she counters this belief with Maggie’s Plan.
Miller aims to expose the restricting and self-destructive nature of such a concept, to find her character endure through failure and realise her mistakes, to ultimately come out of the tunnel with a healthier point of view. She takes on the comedic route and attempts to facilitate laughter out of its banter and particular circumstance, but despite the comedy being capable of delivering some laughs, it eventually came to a halt, and much of it is derived from the slowly deterioration of my engagement for the protagonist’s journey, when I begin to realise that the real plan lies in the aftermath of her initial plan, requiring a counter intervention to remedy the derailment of her life.
It features a familiar performance from Greta Gerwig, who seems to repeat the notion of a likeable New York-based lead, but unfortunately, we have seen Gerwig in a more fascinating role and have previously delivered a more compelling performance. Even more odd is Julianne Moore, who features an off-putting German accent and shows little to no chemistry with her character’s ex-husband, played by Ethan Hawke. Hawke plateaus in his role here, but his victimised role lacks greater shading that would perceive him beyond the passive figure that he is required to play.
This was an unfortunate misfire that could have thrived with its simple and empathetic premise, and though it manages to create laughs along the way, notably from the supporting roles filled by SNL buddies, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph, but it doesn’t extend further from that. The drama and character development lacks the push that they need to truly sell these characters and the story that fuels them.