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Maggieís Plan (8/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 98 minutes.

OK for children.

This is an extraordinarily complex film about a protagonist, Maggie Hardin (Greta Gerwig), who views herself as an honest person who feels she deals with life ethically.

Unsuccessful in love and in her 30s, she wants a baby, so chooses an old college chum, Guy (Travis Fimmel), as a sperm donor. Alas, she then meets John Harding (Ethan Hawke, no stranger to films about infidelity), falls for him and, offscreen, apparently induces him to leave his wife, Georgette (Julianne Moore), and marries him. We donít see that because the film suddenly jumps forward two years when we see Maggie and John married with one child of hers and caring for Johnís children, too. But Maggie is immune to feelings of guilt or thoughts that breaking up a marriage isnít exactly ďethical.Ē One thing she is, is comfortable in her own skin and completely willing to do anything that will make her happy.

However, when her marriage doesnít seem to be working out to her satisfaction, she then goes on to meet Georgette and things progress from there.

The script is witty and the acting very good. As it progresses to its not unexpected denouement (if youíve been paying attention), we also learn that she has been less than honest in other things, too. Ah, thatís what makes her such an intriguing character. Who was it who said that women are inscrutable?

Writer/director Rebecca Miller has shrewdly painted Georgette as appearing to be a controlling, manipulative person as a contrast to Maggie who appears to be just the opposite. But at the end we realize that things and people are often not what they appear to be.