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Puccini for Beginners


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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Reaser, Gretchen Mol, Justin Kirk, Julianne Nicholson, Tina Benko
  • Directors: Maria Maggenti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N2H8XC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,329 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Puccini for Beginners" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

New York writer and opera addict Allegra loves her girlfriend Samantha, but can't commit. When Samantha leaves her, Allegra rebounds with handsome philosophy professor Philip as well as the irresistibly beautiful, recently single Grace. Allegra juggles secret relationships with both of them, never suspecting that Philiip and Grace have a connection of their own. With a sophisticated blend of humor and irony, this screwball sex comedy twists and turns with all the drama of classic Puccini.

Customer Reviews

She plays the defiantly lesbian Allegra who can't seem to commit.
Alan A. Elsner
I wasn't sure what to expect; the trailer for the film made it look pretty good, but I also felt like it would be easy to make this film cheesy or just dull.
Callie
This movie is a very enjoyable, thought provoking romantic comedy.
barry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dennis! on July 15, 2007
Format: DVD
SPOILERS AHEAD.

This movie was kinda cute and charming. Fun for a bit of mindless entertainment -- you can't allow yourself to get too focused on the fact that in the city of 8 million people this one chick happens to find herself in a room with her boyfriend, her girlfriend who is also the boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, and her ex-girlfriend at the same time.

The movie would have more endearing if I liked Allegra more. As it was, though, the movie was intended to be a chronicling of her growth, and that pretty much means she has little redeeming qualities in the first instance. And I found it very hard to care about her character when, after finding out that the two people she's "dating" (term used loosely) are an ex-couple and after being expressly advised by her best friends to dump them both, she apparently makes little to no attempt to do so -- as if she WANTED to get busted anyway.

I'm giving this movie 3 stars because I enjoy the acting talent of Mol and Kirk... but Allegra's character leaves a lot to be desired, and while she's meant to be "complex," she's also really kind of a jerk.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Kennedy on July 17, 2007
Format: DVD
I was really looking forward to the release of this film on dvd. I expected great things from it's maker. I was pretty disappointed when I finally got to see it. The film focuses mainly on the 'straight' relationship and none of the characters really have any chemistry. The story was kind of cute and watchable enough but it only really just touched the surface of things. It pretty much played it safe. I guess that's what you have to do if you wanna break in to the mainstream with these kind of subject matters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By barry VINE VOICE on October 1, 2008
Format: DVD
This movie is a very enjoyable, thought provoking romantic comedy. It comes across as lighter than it actually is. But its lightness makes it a joy to watch and it will linger in your thoughts after with the messages it puts across.

PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS tells the story of a lesbian who keeps having short lived romantic relationships due to her fear of commitment. The film begins with yet another girlfriend breaking up with her and then our main character settles for living life alone. Of course at that point she meets two people with whom she becomes involved - a man and a woman. And the added twist is they are a couple themselves.

The film is not a statement movie about homosexuality but rather a film where all the characters accept each other for who they are. Allegra, our main character is indeed a lesbian, but she does not hate men. She develops feelings for the man with whom she gets involved but she knows it is a rarity. She is most comfortable with women. He also accepts her and does not question why a lesbian is being with a man. As he says TO ME YOU ARE JUST ALLEGRA.

The story unfolds with solid acting and comic situations mixed in as Allegra goes on a deep journey of self discovery. Believe it or not, I must disagree with some other reviewers. I do believe some peoples lives are as straightforward and carefree as our characters here. For this movie requires a deeper examination. Their outer lives seem satisfying yet all of them are going through inner emotional struggles. They are all good people who are learning about themselves and sometimes good is rewarded.

it is a joy to see a gay film that is not an issue film but merely a film about believable, very real characters on realistic journeys.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Marzano on December 24, 2007
Format: DVD
I caught this movie on the Logo channel so I don't have the dvd but I figured I'd write a review anyway.

To me it's one of those movies that could never happen in quite this way in real life but it does raise issues that are real.

The main character hooks up with two people who are having problems in their relationships not knowing that their relationship is with each other.

I guess one lesson is if someone just wants to be 'the other person' this may be what they become which is what happens initially.

But ultimately she lucks out and causes someone else to become the other person and she becomes the right person which is what she so desperately wanted.

I guess the main point is how do people find that other person that is right for them. This is a very deep philosophical question. Even a spiritual question.

Perhaps the various experiences that these people went through was a necessary part of that discovery for them.

I think movies like this can be educational if they make people think about the implications, complexities, and possible outcomes of getting involved in intimate relationships. She perhaps underestimated the feelings that her two friends still had for each other.

The two main female characters in this movie are bisexual but this is not a graphic movie. At least not the version I saw on tv.

Jeff Marzano

When Night Is Falling
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on August 17, 2007
Format: DVD
**1/2

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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