A woman who loves opera finds herself playing a romantic version of musical chairs in this independent comedy from writer and director Maria Maggenti. Allegra (Elizabeth Reaser) is a writer who has been involved with Samantha (Julianne Nicholson) for some time, but Allegra just isn't willing to make a commitment. Eventually, Samantha decides she's had enough, and she not only leaves Allegra, she jumps to the other side of the gender divide and starts dating a man. While Allegra is none too pleased with Samantha's actions, she unwittingly finds herself following suit when she meets Philip (Justin Kirk), a college professor, at a party. After a few cocktails, Allegra and Philip end up in bed, and while Allegra is content to leave it as a one-night stand, Philip has different ideas, and goes so far as to dump his girlfriend to pursue a relationship with Allegra, even though she's made it clear to him she's not at all serious about him. At the same time, Allegra strikes up a new romance with Grace (Gretchen Mol), but she doesn't know all that much about Grace's previous lovers -- who happen to include Philip. Puccini for Beginners was screened in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.
by Mark Deming synopsis