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Puccini for Beginners (2006)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 1,847 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 14 user | 34 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Puccini for Beginners (2006)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Catering Boss
...
Samantha
...
Jeff
...
...
...
Philip
...
Nell
...
Vivian
Natalie Havermeyer ...
Mimi Molligher ...
Woman in Elevator
Maggie Moore ...
Woman in Park
...
Man in Park
...
Sushi Chef 1
...
Sushi Chef 2
...
Molly
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Comedy of Operatic Proportions See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

7 February 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Puccini for Beginners  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$89,417 (USA) (22 June 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

If you look really close during the first sex scene between Philip and Allegra, you can see Philip's underwear. See more »

Quotes

Nell: You got together with Philip as a way to get back at Samantha and then when your emotions got too strong you found Grace under whom you could project your conflict and who so conveniently was braking up with her boyfriend making her another unavailable love object which of course confirms your deep cynicism about relationships in general and keeps you from confronting your real problem which has had to be yourself.
Allegra: Jesus Christ Nell, all I did was ask you what you wanted to have for lunch...
Nell: ...
See more »

Connections

References The L Word (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Woody Allen for Beginners
17 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Written and directed by Maria Maggenti, "Puccini For Beginners" is a tres chic romantic comedy set in a movie-spawned Manhattan where virtually everyone we meet is Caucasian, trendily upscale and sexually conflicted.

The strained setup lands somewhere between a labored screwball sex farce and a recycled Woody Allen angst-fest: Allegra (Elizabeth Reaser) is an opera-loving, afraid-of-commitment lesbian who finds herself inadvertently and simultaneously dating both a man (Justin Kirk) and his longtime girlfriend (winningly played by Gretchen Mol). As Allegra bounces back and forth between her two oblivious paramours, the characters talk out the issues of their relationships as if they were channeling left-over bits from "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan."

"Puccini for Beginners" is one of those small-scale independent features that thinks it's being smarter and more insightful about romantic relationships than it really is. Actually, after all those really sharp Woody Allen exposes on the same subject, very little in this film feels like fresh observation. To be truthful, with the exception of Mol's winsome Grace, most of the characters here are more annoying than they are appealing. Not only are the plotting and much of the writing too cutesy by half, but so is Maggenti's directorial style, which relies heavily on smart-alecky narration, freeze-framing, and dopey fantasy sequences to generate laughs.

"Puccini for Beginners" offers a few genuinely funny moments within its blessedly short 81-minute running time, but throughout we're plagued by the nagging and irreverent suspicion that the film might have been more accurately entitled "Puccini for Idiots."


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