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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.

Director:

Maria Maggenti

Writer:

Maria Maggenti
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Barnett ... Catering Boss
Julianne Nicholson ... Samantha
Brian Letscher ... Jeff
Elizabeth Reaser ... Allegra
Gretchen Mol ... Grace
Justin Kirk ... Philip
Tina Benko ... Nell
Kate Simses ... Vivian
Natalie Levin Natalie Levin ... Turandot (as Natalie Havermeyer)
Mimi Molligher Mimi Molligher ... Woman in Elevator
Maggie Moore Maggie Moore ... Woman in Park
Craig Archibald ... Man in Park
Yasu Suzuki ... Sushi Chef 1
Yoshiro Kono ... Sushi Chef 2
Jennifer Dundas ... 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 love triangle of operatic proportions See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 February 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Triangle of Love See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,380, 4 February 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$89,417, 24 June 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

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

 
Uninspired musings on love and relationships
25 September 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

"Puccini for Beginners" is yet another independent relationship comedy. I remember a long line of them coming out probably around the same time this one did. We have love triangles and writers waxing on neurotically about love and relationships.

The lead is a writer, a lesbian who is unable to admit her true feelings, and she goes from a break up to a man. He's a philosophy professor who loves everything about her that it doesn't matter that she's a lesbian. In addition to their differences in sexual orientation, there are other love entanglements that get in their way - "with all the twists and turns of a classic Puccini" as the DVD case says. I would agree with that if the twists and turns in Puccini operas are obvious and uninspired with contrived culminations.

I enjoyed the casting, Elizabeth Reaser has a fresh face and isn't your typical romantic comedy lead. I fell in love with Justin Kirk as Andy Botwin in "Weeds" and I fell in love with him again here. The actresses who play her friends actually look like regular friends. But the cast wasn't able to save the characters. We have a lesbian with the prosaic name of Allegra, a writer whose neurotic, and a philosophy professor who pontificated on her vocabulary and the virtues of love and relationships. And none of them had interesting character traits.

The characters, the love triangles and the imperious dialogue were all flat. And the references to Puccini? Allegra likes going to the opera. So does Philip. I think that sums up all the imaginative aspects of "Puccini for Beginners".


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