In off-beat romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan, a half-adorable, half-infuriating woman (Greta Gerwig) who wants a baby put in her post-haste forgoes both the sweaty method and the tricky paperwork. Instead she takes receipt of a sample of gunk from a helpful old school friend turned artisan pickle salesman, before falling in love with a married professor (Ethan Hawke).
So powerful is their love for one another that we’re almost immediately catapulted three years into the future, where Maggie is now unhappy. And the professor is now unhappy. The plan? Return him to his ex-wife like a misaddressed Yodel delivery. It seems a perfectly silly plot for a commier rom, but Maggie’s Plan isn’t surreal enough to make the outlandish manipulation feel like anything other than the actions of a sociopath.
Julianne Moore pulls off an enjoyably awful Danish accent as the spurned ex-wife in the deal, but there are few other characters to root for in this whining conglomerate of selfish Manhattan loft dwellers.