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Maggie’s Plan

Academic types in Brooklyn wear wooly sweaters and try to sort out their lives

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Rebecca Miller’s comedy of manners set among the Brooklyn-brownstone intelligentsia veers dangerously close to being a parody of the same. Maggie (Greta Gerwig) is single, but wants a baby, so she enlists the help of an artisanal pickle-maker. Meanwhile, she meets-cute a rumpled professor, John (Ethan Hawke), who is unhappily married to a more important academic, the impervious Georgette (Julianne Moore). So, John leaves Georgette for Maggie, and then — surprise – everybody is still miserable. Like the rarefied world of Woody Allen’s signature films, these people never stop talking about themselves! (I’d be remiss not to point out that everybody also self-consciously wears scarves, funny hats and sturdy sweaters all the time.) The best barometer is: if you liked Gerwig’s other similar films, you’ll likely find something to enjoy in this one. Though I fear for her typecasting, and wish that she and the other able actors here were in something more illuminating than another round of aging-hipster navel-gazing.


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