Starring: Danielle Macdonald, Hugh Skinner, Joanna Lumley
Director: Ben Lewin
Running Time: 104 mins
Falling For Figaro is a British film about an American woman who quits her well-paying job and moves across the pond to take up residence in a Scottish pub – where she aims to learn from a jaded opera singer the skills to sing on stage for herself.
A blend of quirky comedy and quaint romantic drama, Falling For Figaro has all the ingredients of an enjoyably cosy film, along with some delightful locations from windswept Scotland to Britain’s great theatres. But for the most part, the film is a bit of an underwhelming watch, with a repetitive first two acts and a predictable finale, none of which taps in to the heartwarming potential of its story.
As such, Falling For Figaro is a film where much of the appeal only runs skin deep. With fairly likable performances from leads Danielle Macdonald and Hugh Skinner, there’s some fun to be had with their on-again-off-again relationship throughout, although Joanna Lumley, their battle-hardened opera coach, isn’t quite at her best with a more bitter performance than a comically haggard one.
It’s a difficult balance to strike, and it’s an issue that extends throughout the film as a whole. As I said, Falling For Figaro has all the ingredients of a likably quaint and quirky romantic comedy-drama, but the movie more often than not struggles to blend its lighter and its darker streaks together, making for a tonally inconsistent watch.
Despite the likability of its two leads, this film is a fairly frustrating watch throughout, worsened by the fact that its story doesn’t really go anywhere through its first two acts, with both Macdonald and Skinner stuck in an endless loop of opera rehearsal that doesn’t really progress – lacking a development of their skills and of the film’s core emotional story.
The finale, while finally moving things along, is caught up with all manner of predictable twists to tie the story up – bringing what is a generally underwhelming watch to a fairly underwhelming finish. So, that’s why I’m giving Falling For Figaro a 6.3 overall.