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Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig star in writer-director Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan.

3.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Maggie’s Plan
Written by
Rebecca Miller
Directed by
Rebecca Miller
Starring
Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

Writer-director Rebecca Miller, expanding on the source novel by Karen Rinaldi, has delivered something as rare as a unicorn: a sophisticated, beautifully written romantic comedy for adults. Shakespeare would have loved the conceit: Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a well-intentioned university administrator in New York, falls in love with John (Ethan Hawke), a married writer – until she realizes she's made a mistake, and contrives to give him back to his ex-wife Georgette (Julianne Moore), a chilly academic. It works, because the dialogue is so bright and the performances so grounded. Moore, rocking a Danish accent and a wardrobe of leather and fur, flies closest to the sun. But Miller (daughter of the playwright Arthur Miller) always knows when to cut to a close-up: These three can't be foolish when you're looking into their eyes. Comparisons to vintage Woody Allen are inevitable – smart-talky urbanites flummoxed by love – but Miller's characters are complete, singular people, and her take is thoroughly female. She subverts the genre, and wakes it up.

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