Wednesday, April 17, 2024

John Kerry’s Producer Daughter Slips Subliminal Democratic Message into New Julianne Moore Movie


Listen closely when you’re watching Rebecca Miller’s wonderful new comedy, “Maggie’s Plan.” The film was just bought by Sony Pictures Classics, and hopefully will get a release this year. Julianne Moore would be a cinch for Best Supporting Actress, and Greta Gerwig is terrific. Ethan Hawke is even better than he was in “Boyhood.”

But is there a subliminal Democratic message? One of the producers is Alexandra Kerry, daughter of Secretary of State John Kerry. And one of the (very minor) characters is named Debbie Wasserman, as in DNC Chairwoman and Florida Congress-person Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. It’s no coincidence. Characters in movies aren’t named Debbie Wasserman by chance.

Does Wasserman even know she’s been named a character?

“Maggie’s Plan” is written and directed by Rebecca Miller based on a short story by Karen Rinaldi. Miller, of course, directed “Personal Velocity” and “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” which starred husband Daniel Day Lewis. She’s the daughter of the late, great American playwright Arthur Miller. She’s hit her stride with this film, which was beloved in Toronto two weeks ago and played like gangbusters.

What you need to know: Greta Gerwig is Maggie, who planned on having a baby solo until meets John (Hawke). They have an affair that ends his marriage to Julianne Moore (hilarious with a German accent). Only, after she has the baby, Maggie realizes maybe John isn’t all he’s cracked up to be, and she wants to give him back. That’s her plan. Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph (whose husband Paul Thomas Anderson directed DDL to acclaim in “There Will Be Blood”). Rachael Horovitz is the producer who shepherded the film along to completion.

I don’t know what Sony’s plan is yet for “Maggie’s Plan” but I do hope they don’t wait too long. This is one smart comedy, up there with Nora Ephron or Nancy Meyers or Nicole Holofcener’s best work.

PS It probably won’t happen, but Julianne Moore could be up for Best Supporting in this film and lead actress in “Freeheld.” She’s that good in everything. But of course, she just won the Oscar in “Still Alice.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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