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#Oscars2018 Foreign-Language Film: Today, October 6, submission from Syria, Senegal, Mongolia, Honduras, Haiti, Costa Rica, China and Australia.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Puccini for Beginners


Not an easy movie to write about, but the best way to describe my reaction to it is that is the same as Gray Matters but “Au Contraire”.

This is a movie that I feel it was marketed as mainstream and even did well at Sundance, but seems that when was released it did not attracted mainstream audiences, so then they tried to appeal to lesbian interest audiences. So lets review it from both points-of-view.

As a mainstream movie it was promoted as a screwball comedy and tried to sell it as a reminiscence of an early Woody Allen comedy. I am an early Woody Allen fan and those magnificent NY themed comedies are to me totally different to this movie, which lacks the witty, smart, sarcastic and dark humor of Allen’s early work.

The acting is not that bad as Elizabeth Reaser’s Allegra conveys the sexual identity confusion and mainly, her fear for commitment; but Justin Kirk and Gretchen Mol have totally one-dimensional flat characters, with Mol overacting in most of her scenes.

So if I have to compare this movie to other mainstream movies I have to say that is a mediocre romantic comedy with a weak script that does not allow any character to be totally developed.

As a lesbian interest movie the story is just boring and not credible. Is not that I do not believe that stories like this happen in real life, yes it does as there are women that swing from one sex to the other without problem. What happens is that there is no chemistry between Reaser and Mol characters, which makes their story less credible and boring. Then, the Allegra and Samantha breakup and later make up are totally underdeveloped in the script and they sort of happen out-of-the-blue.

As a matter of fact, the only real chemistry in this movie is between Allegra and Philip a relationship that has nothing of interest for a lesbian interest audience.

The production is not low budget, at least not as low as the great The Incredible Adventures of Two Girls in Love, which is Maria Maggenti previous work as a director and it is a pity that this story did not went the same way as her previous work.

No, I did not enjoy this movie, not as a mainstream comedy or as a lesbian interest movie.

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