Maggie’s Plan (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
August 21, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Maggie’s Plan” is a contemporary romantic comedy that goes against the usual Hollywood trend of happily ever after. Because of this, it may not be for everyone, but for those who are open to a contemporary romantic comedy, may find Rebecca Miller’s “Maggie’s Plan” to be smartly written, delightful and entertaining. “Maggie’s Plan” is recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2016 Lilly Harding Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Maggie’s Plan
YEAR OF FILM: 2015
DURATION: 124 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 Aspect Ratio, English, 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English – Audio Description Track, Russian VO, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Russian, Thai, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional)
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics
RATED: R (Some Language and Brief Sexuality)
RELEASE DATE: August 23, 2016
Directed by Rebecca Miller
Written by Rebecca Miller
Story by Karen Rinaldi
Based on the book by Colin Escott, George Merritt, William MacEwen
Produced by Gabor Rajna, Gabor Sipos
Executive Producer: Judit Stalter
Associate Producer: Robert Vamos
Line Producer: Krisztina Pinter
Music by Laszlo Melis
Cinematography by Matyas Erdely
Edited by Matthieu Taponier
Casting by Eva Zabezsinszkij
Production Design by Laszlo Rajk
Art Direction by Hedvig Kiraly
Set Decoration by Dorka Kiss, Judit Varga
Costume Design by Edit Szucs
Greta Gerwig as Maggie
Bill Harder as Tony
Ethan Hawke as John Harding
Maya Rudolph as Felicia
Julianne Moore as Georgette
Wallace Shawn as Klieger
Mina Sundwall as Justine
Jackson Frazer as Paul
In Rebecca Miller’s witty romantic comedy, Maggie (Greta Gerwig) is a vibrant New Yorker, who without success in finding love, decides to have a child on her own. But when she meets John Harding (Ethan Hawke), an anthropology professor and struggling novelist, she falls in love for the first time. Complicating matters, John is in an unhappy marriage with Georgette (Julianne Moore), an ambitious academic who is driven by her work. With some help from Maggie’s eccentric best friends, married couple Tony (Bill Hader) and Felicia (Maya Rudolph), Maggie sets in motion a new plan that intertwines their lives and connects them in surprising and humorous ways.
From filmmaker/writer Rebecca Miller (“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”, “The Ballad of Jack and Rose”, “Personal Velocity”) comes her romantic comedy, “Maggie’s Plan”.
Based on an original story by Karen Rinaldi, the film stars Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”, “Mistress America”, “No Strings Attached”, “Greenberg”), Ethan Hawke (“Gattaga”, “Before Sunset”, “Before Sunrise”, “Training Day”), Julianne Moore (“The Big Lewbowski”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, “The Kids Are All Right”), Bill Hader (“Superbad”, “Saturday Night Live”), Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids”, “Gattaca”, “Idiocracy”), Wallace Shawn (“The Princess Bride”, “My Dinner with Andre”, “Personal Velocity”) and Travis Fimmel (“Warcraft”, “Vikings”, “The Baytown Outlaws”).
And now “Maggie’s Plan” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
The film revolves around Maggie (portrayed by Gerta Gerwig), a woman in New York who likes to have everything organized and kept in c0ntrol in her life. And now Maggie desires to become a single mother despite her best friend Tony (portrayed by Bill Hader) telling her it’s not a good idea.
Wanting her college friend Guy (portrayed by Travis Fimmel) to donate his sperm, so she can inseminate herself, things take an unexpected turn when she has an affair with a ficto-critical anthropologist named John (portrayed by Ethan Hawke).
John is married to a Columbia University Professor named Georgette (portrayed by Julianne Moore) and his marriage is falling apart. She is consumed by work and feeling that he is not getting anything in the marriage.
And so, as Maggie and John have an affair and Maggie gets the child that she wants, while the child was what she always wanted, is John supposed to be in her life? Or does she feel that John was supposed to be with Georgette?
“Maggie’s Plan” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). Overall picture quality shows amazing detail during closeups. Skin tones are natural, black levels are nice and deep. Many solid outdoor shots to bring a New York feel to the film. The film looks great in HD!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for the lossless audio, “Maggie’s Plan” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Also, an English- Audio Description Track Dolby Surround, Russian VO and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.
The lossless audio for “I Saw the Light” features crystal clear dialogue and music. Surround sound usage is primarily for crowd ambiance but for this soundtrack, the film is primarily dialogue and music driven.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Russia and Thai.
“Maggie’s Plan” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Rebecca Miller
- Controlling Fate: The Making of Maggie’s Plan – (15:52) Director Rebecca and the cast discuss the film’s modern romance and how “Maggie’s Plan” is a contemporary story.
- Outtakes – (7:21) Outtakes from “Maggie’s Plan”.
- Q&A at the Sundance Film Festival – (11:29) Featuring the Q&A from “Maggie’s Plan” at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Theatrical Trailer – The original theatrical trailer for “Maggie’s Plan”.
“Maggie’s Plan” comes with a slipcover and an UltraViolet code.
With many romantic comedies, they are typically about traditional romance and finding love and sometimes a story that is happily ever after.
“Maggie’s Plan” is a contemporary story that takes the traditional romance story and flips it upside down and what if the woman finds out the man was probably best with the woman he was originally in a relationship with.
The film also takes a modern look at the independent woman who wants to have a child but not be in a relationship.
So, “Maggie’s Plan” is very different from your average romantic comedy and for those looking for sparkle and finding true love at the end, may find “Maggie’s Plan” to be disappointing. But for those who embrace a different and modern storyline of a woman making her own decisions, control of her own destiny and when she finds a guy that she thinks she loves but then feels… maybe not. Then this film is for you.
The film revolves around the charming Greta Gerwig who has a career but now wants to have a child. And in wanting to have a child, she’s not going to go through any major scientific process of having it professionally done, she is hoping one of her male friends can donate their sperm and she finds out that her college friend, a math wize named Guy will donate his sperm to her and she will inseminate herself.
Greta feels that she is ready to be a mother and that she knows that she is not a person that can stay with someone for more than six months. And she wants to do this within four months, after she saves enough money.
In a way I enjoyed the film for its honesty. These are things that some people (especially people that I know) feel and they make their own choices which goes against traditional society ways of thinking. So, I appreciate the film for showing a different side of how romance starts, romance ends but in the end, just staying honest with the characters, no matter how educated and flawed they may be, no one is put in a pedestal. It’s really an honest portrayal.
May it be Maggie with John, Maggie and her friends, Maggie with Georgette or Maggie with her young daughter.
I love the quirkiness of Maggie and I also enjoyed the film’s use of improvisation and while some may find areas of vocal stammering in a film due to the improvisation and not a smooth delivery, again, I enjoy how the film is natural, smartly written and conversations are entertaining while not complex as a Eric Rohmer film, I enjoyed “Maggie’s Plan” for its characters and smart dialogue.
I felt Greta Gerwig did a wonderful job in portraying Maggie. It’s a quirky but smart performance which I enjoy seeing her do in films such as “Damsels in Distress” and “Frances Ha”. And she absolutely shines in “Maggie’s Plan”.
Although, it was a little unusual to see Julianne Moore with speaking with a foreign accent but I’ll leave it up to the linguistics erudite on whether or not they felt her accent was up to par.
The Blu-ray looks great in HD. Closeups are full of detail, outdoor scenes are vibrant, skintones look natural and for the most part, the film looks very good in HD! The lossless soundtrack features crystal clear dialogue and music and also is adequate for this type of film. As for special features, you get an entertaining audio commentary, featurette and also hilarious outtakes.
Overall, “Maggie’s Plan” is a contemporary romantic comedy that goes against the usual Hollywood trend of happily ever after. Because of this, it may not be for everyone, but for those who are open to a contemporary romantic comedy, may find Rebecca Miller’s “Maggie’s Plan” to be smartly written, delightful and entertaining.
“Maggie’s Plan” is recommended!
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