Owen Gleiberman
February 14, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Puccini for Beginners

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
82 minutes
Limited Release Date
02/02/07
performer
Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, Gretchen Mol
director
Maria Maggenti
distributor
Strand Releasing
author
Maria Maggenti
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it a B-

As Allegra, a bisexual New York novelist carrying on concurrent love affairs in Puccini for Beginners with fluttery Gretchen Mol and stoic Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser, so vibrant in last year’s Sweet Land, has a bloom that recalls Debra Winger in her playful prime. She makes sensual confusion seem sexy and wise. The plot, which spins around Allegra’s lovers having just been an item, is awkward bedroom farce, but the tone is Woody Allen-meets-The L Word, with a patina of literary cuteness that now seems like the sound of a vanished Manhattan. B-

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