Maggie Moore(s) is directed by John Slattery and stars John Hamm. The two transcendent characters from Mad Men combined to make a smooth and underrated comic offering in 2023.
The production is buoyed by a collection of character actors deft in the comic art of humor in cinema. Nick Mohammed (Yes. From Ted Lasso) is Gere's inappropriate deputy Reddy. Happy Anderson plays Kosco, one of the best Hitman-For-Hire in a long time. Micah Stock is the inept Jay Moore, husband of the first Maggie. And Tina Fey, under control for once, is John Hamm's (Chief of Police, Jason Sanders) love interest.
The film's plot, triggered by the discovery of child pornographer (The fab Derek Basco as Tommy T), leads to two murders. Chief Sanders and Deputy Reddy (Really?) piece together the accidental labyrinth of suspects including a couple of spouses, a Nazi alcoholic (Tate Ellington in an emotionally-crushing role as Duane Rich), and a deaf mute with an obsession for video games.
Slattery handles what could have been a confusing mess of ridiculous coincidence with the proverbial aplomb. Despite the introduction of several red herrings, including an adorable convenience store cashier (Oona Roche), the man who gave us Roger Sterling in Mad Men presents, in just over 90 minutes, a theme park ride of multiple homicide, Middle-Aged love, and accidental stupidity which does entertain without crossing the line of preposterousness.
Maggie Moore(s) ain't Slattery's first rodeo. It is his second. He directed a hit-and-miss comedy/thriller in 2014, God's Pocket. That film lacks the cohesiveness of Maggie Moore(s), but is worth another look. The talent is there, and Slattery learned much from his debut effort.
Don't know if the talented John Slattery wants to direct more often, as opposed to continuing his fine career on-camera, but based on Maggie Moore(s), let's hope there is something in the behind-the-scenes creative pipeline for this silver fox.
Rental on Prime