Romcoms are a dime a dozen these days, with all major streaming platforms getting in on the action. And that includes Netflix who put out Falling for Figaro, a sweet and charming romantic comedy that will hot the right notes if you like the genre.
A Southern Light Films movie from Australia and directed by Ben Lewin, it stars Danielle Macdonald, Joanna Lumley, and Hugh Skinner.
But what is Falling for Figaro all about, and is it worth watching?
What Is Falling for Figaro About?
This is the story of Millie (Danielle Macdonald), a talented young musician who dreams of becoming an opera singer.
Despite her lack of formal training, she manages to land an apprenticeship with the demanding and temperamental Maestro Vittorio (Hugh Skinner) at the Scottish Opera Company.
So she ups and moves to a small village in the Scotland Highlands where she tries to convince renowned opera teacher Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (Joanna Lumley) to coach her.
As she struggles to fit in with her snobbish and elitist colleagues, Millie meets Max (Joel Jackson), a handsome and charismatic fellow apprentice with his own insecurities to overcome.
Together, they embark on a musical journey that will test their skills, courage, and hearts.
Falling For Figaro Official Trailer
Is Falling For Figaro Worth Watching?
What I loved about Falling for Figaro is how it manages to balance the humor and the heartache of its story.
The film is both a witty satire of the opera world, with its egos, rivalries, and traditions, and a tender love story that celebrates the power of music to heal and connect us.
The performances are top-notch, with Macdonald and Jackson displaying a natural chemistry and emotional depth that make their characters' journey all the more compelling.
Lumley is a delight as Max's eccentric grandmother, who provides both comic relief and sage advice.
The music is, of course, a highlight of the film, with a mix of classic opera arias and original compositions that showcase the talents of the cast and the composer Marius de Vries.
On the downside, the supporting characters are underdeveloped and stereotypical. In fact, the portrayal of the Scottish highlands and the people who live there is cringeworthy at times.
And despite the best attempts of the lead actors, the chemistry was really lacking between them. Like all romcoms, the film plays out exactly as you imagine, and yet, somehow it all felt a little forced.
If you can get passed that, Falling for Figaro does have moments that will provide an entertaining distraction and uplift the spirits. Its feel-good factor is never in doubt, even if the execution is clunky and hammered home.
Did Danielle Macdonald Really Sing Opera?
The short answer is no, Danielle Macdonald didn't not actually sing in the movie.
Her singing was dubbed by Australian-Mauritian opera singer Stacey Alleaume, who has won several prestigious awards in Australia and New Zealand.
Likewise, Hugh Skinner also didn't sing, and his singing voice was dubbed by Nathan Lay, also from Australia.
Despite this, both actors needed a lot of training for their roles, learning the songs and taking intense vocal training lessons, so that it could be dubbed easily.
Falling For Figaro Movie Cast
Danielle Macdonald (The Tourist) as Millie Cantwell, a brilliant young fund manager who gives it all up, including her longterm boyfriend, to pursue an opera dream
Hugh Skinner as Max Thistlewaite, a young local opera singers who befriends Millie.
Joanna Lumley as diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop, the fearsome singing teacher and Max's grandmother
Gary Lewis as Ramsay Macfadyen
Shazad Latif as Charlie
Rebecca Benson as Rosa
Ian Hanmore as Patrick
Bhav Joshi as Elliot
Saskia Ashdown as Eve
Christina Bennington as Juliet
Jo Cameron Brown as Juliet's nurse