Joanna Lumley, left, and Danielle Macdonald in 2020’s “Falling for Figaro.” IMDb image

We find ourselves here in a pretty much predictable rom-com film set, at first, in a boardroom in a big city where futures are decided, especially for our Millie Cantwell, (Danielle Macdonald, “Dumplin” 2018, “Bird Box” 2018.)

But hold on, after the boardroom and some nonsexual chatty bedroom scenes, the story suddenly takes us to the scary barren highlands of Scotland, with long drives past big rocks and vast landscape.

That said, “Falling” is a pillow soft Australian film, directed and written by Ben Lewin (“Georgia” 1988, “The Dunera Boys”1985), and Allen Palmer.

What quickly rescues us from rom-com valley is the hero, Millie Cantwell, who has at opening, just risen to a top job, seemingly at peace with body and dreams.

Charlie, her boyfriend Shazad Latif (“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) who happens to be her sub-boss, is shocked by a surprising announcement, and gives her all the space she needs. Both, you see, are in their mid-30s, the age for abandoning what one has and going for the prize.

Charlie’s dream is to wed Millie and settle down to a boring life.


Let’s look at some reality here.

Millie is, and this is important, a serious independent woman, a super no-nonsense realist, ready to take a beginner’s blows and accept the hard work, prepared for the rocky road to becoming an opera singer.

The plot starts rolling quickly when she quits her job and flies away to what looks like the set for “Brigadoon.”

This is where a once famous singer and bitter and rejected star Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop (a terrific and scary Joanna Lumley), lives in tiny Drumbuie, where an opera contest is held once a year.

It’s here in the modern Brigadoon setting in the pub, charmingly called “The Filthy Pig,” run by Ramsay Macfadyen (Gary Lewis) where stout fuels the required local shepherds.

Here, we see another young opera dreamer, Max (Hugh Skinner, “Fleabag,” “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” and “Any Human Heart”), a Scot who works as a waiter, dish washer and chicken tender at the hotel. Max is also the one student of Meghan’s who, with a tongue like an unforgiving whip, mothers him.


Joanna Lumley’s husband is classical conductor Stephen Barlow, who is credited as opera consultant on this film.

Despite his humble appearance, Max will be a possible future rival for Charlie. I told you that this is a “rom-com romance,” remember?

In Haggis Heaven there will be the contest, ups and downs, winners and losers, surprises, joys, disappointments and romance.

What makes this romcom float to the top is Danielle Macdonald. She is sweet, with great eyes and deliverance.

All the others co excel, but it’s Danielle who delivers the goods.

Should you Google the story of the film’s making, you’ll be very much surprised and delighted.

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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