falling for figaro
director: ben lewin (the catcher was a spy, the sessions)
starring: Danielle Macdonald, high skinner, joanna lumley and gray lewis
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A brilliant young fund manager leaves her unfulfilling job and long-term boyfriend to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer in the Scottish Highlands.
Every summer as a teenager my friends and I would head off to Opera in the Park. I know, we were super cool. Coming from a family where opera and classical music was never played, it opened my eyes up to a completely new world of the complex, artistically stunning and unadulterated drama of the opera. While Falling for Figaro isn’t as dramatically complex as the opera it’s based upon, there is still enough here for fans of opera and the rom-com genre to enjoy.
Falling For Figaro follows a brilliant young fund manager named Millie who quits her job and ends things with her long term boyfriend in order to fulfill her dream of becoming an opera singer — in the Scottish Highlands.
She begins intense vocal training lessons with renowned but fearsome singing teacher and former opera diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop. It is there she meets Max, another of Meghan’s students who is also training for the upcoming “Singer of Renown” contest. The competition between Millie and Max gradually evolves into something different and deeper.
Falling for Figaro knows what kind of movie it is - a rom-com that hits nearly every known trope of the genre. And that’s only really a bad thing if you’re not a fan of that genre.
There’s the girl, Millie, who’s looking for a new life and Max, her musical rival who can’t stand her. They end up getting placed together for a duet, they grow closer, then there’s some more conflict and...well. You get the drift.
While Millie’s character is a tad annoying (think full blown, tiresome millennial), Hugh is endearing underneath all of his crabiness. But it's the supporting cast including the divine Joanna Lumley as their opera tutor Meghan that helps elevate Falling for Figaro above the rest. Lumley gives a cutting, fearsome performance, filled with cheek and charm aplenty.
While Falling for Figaro isn’t as dramatically complex as the opera it’s based upon, there is still enough here for fans of opera and the rom-com genre to enjoy.