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Puccini for Beginners (2006)

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A recently-singled New York writer finds herself in two surprising and complicated relationships.



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Catering Boss
Natalie Havermeyer ...
Mimi Molligher ...
Woman in Elevator
Maggie Moore ...
Woman in Park
Man in Park
Sushi Chef 1
Sushi Chef 2


Allegra, an opera-loving writer in New York, eschews commitment, so her girlfriend, Samantha, leaves her. Allegra misses Sam, and resents the accusation that she's afraid to say "I love you," but she's soon involved with two people - Grace and Philip - who, unbeknownst to her, have just broken up with each other. Allegra juggles the two affairs, telling neither about the other; each likes her more and more as her old fears start making her itchy. Things come to a head at an engagement party where Allegra is pinch-hitting as a catering assistant. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A love triangle of operatic proportions See more »


Comedy | Romance

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 February 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Triangle of Love  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,380 (USA) (2 February 2007)


$89,417 (USA) (22 June 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Julianne Nicholson and Gretchen Mol have acted in HBO show Boadwalk Empire. See more »


Philip's clothing changes three times during his date to the opera with Allegra. When they leave for the opera, he is seen wearing jeans, a sweater and a suit jacket. Immediately after the opera, he is wearing a button-up shirt and khakis instead of his sweater and jeans. During dinner, Philip is seen wearing the sweater with the khakis while his jacket is hanging over the back of his chair. See more »


Allegra: Commit! Just listen to that word, it's what they do in insane asylums!
See more »


References The L Word (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Film-making for Beginners – plus Advanced Left-wing Propaganda 501.
6 January 2015 | by (Serbia) – See all my reviews

"She voted Republican, you should have known." Only in American movies does voting Right automatically equate to being a Nazi supporter or being a serial-killer. (Good luck to you if you've already been brainwashed by Hollywood flicks into adopting this mind-set.) There are many other examples of liberal indoctrination; it is persistent and all-present in PFB.

Nearly every character behaves like a pre-election politician trying to rake in votes among his liberal electorate, by injecting as many asinine politically-correct statements into the vapid dialogue as they can; so much so in fact that half-way through this painfully unfunny turkey I was musing on whether the film's incompetent writer/director had the primary goal of entertaining people i.e. making them laugh (remember: a comedy, so that's her job), or whether this terribly lame script was merely an excuse for her to voice her painfully predictable and utterly mindless left-wing views. Either way, she is a buffoon with zero talent. After all, isn't this the same Maria who molested us with "The Incredibly Lame Adventure of Two Girls in Love"?

PFB is bizarre pile of rom-com (all rom and no com) horse-manure about an unbearably unattractive/unappealing lesbian who is at the center of a love square, meaning that she has affairs with three people, almost all at once. In the absurd "reality" of this stupid movie, this ugly woman is desired and lusted over by every man and woman she meets – while Mol Gretchen (the ACTUAL beauty here) is the one getting cheated on and dumped by both men and women. Yes, I'd laugh at this cretinous role-reversal – if only it were intentional. It isn't.

Elizabeth Reaser is such a mediocre and uncharismatic actress and – as I will mention at least ten times more – bearing such a horrendous face, that my nepotism radars immediately switched on. I had a quick look at her bio – and sure enough: her stepfather was nothing less than owner of the Detroit Pistons, a post that her mother took over later on. That explains quite a bit, doesn't it? Further proof that in Hollywood you can only make it if you have relatives in the industry, if you belong to a certain ethnic group, or if you have an upper-class background. (And if you fall into all three categories, a movie-career becomes virtually a certainty – should you want one.) This is quite ironic – and highly hypocritical – considering this movie's pro-Socialist pro-working-class message of equality, huh?

Let me get this straight: the movie promotes anti-capitalism while seeking to make as much profit in a very competitive movie market? Furthermore: the movie portrays Republicans as greedy elitists – while the movie's writer/director hires some rich preppie daughter from a powerful and wealthy American family to play a left-wing lesbian? Perhaps one needs to be daft in the extreme in order to "understand" liberal ideology and the self-contradicting means by which they attempt to impose their views on the rest of us who lack this extreme daftness.

But hip social issues aren't Maria's only pointless obsession. The script is also burdened, saddled, and ultimately crushed by Maria's laughable desire to be taken seriously as an intellectual; that much is obvious. Instead of focusing on making the movie FUNNY (something she's clearly incapable of anyway), this fool tries to impress us with pseudo-intellectual piffle, while making boring left-wing insinuations every 5 minutes – as if Manbearpig itself had hired her for the job.

The script fails in every department, however. The characters aren't believable; they are politically-correct cardboard cut-outs, walking indie-film clichés. They aren't even remotely funny; not even slightly amusing, and very rarely interesting. The dialog sounds fake and forced, not much better than what one gets in a typical episode of "Friends".

Credibility is stretched to breaking point as the entire script relies heavily on absurd coincidences – while Maria desperately tries to justify these too-numerous-to-mention chance meetings with some pretentious, unconvincing gobbledygook about why Freud thought there was "no such thing as coincidence". Besides, who gives a rat's bum what Freud thought about anything not related to psychoanalysis? It's like quoting what Plato thought was the best way to cook spaghetti. Or what Agassi thinks about French poetry.

And nice try, attempting to portray New York's left-wing lesbian "elite" as smart and well-educated. New York City is a place of high imbecility, not at all anymore the city in which "if you can make it here you can make it anywhere". Make what? Bad movies?

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