Okay, so I like a good romance from time to time, and I like music. So I should have really enjoyed “Once,” a sort of romantic/ musical/ docudrama right? Well, maybe.
“Once” begins with a shot of our main character (played by Glen Hansard) on the streets of Dublin playing the guitar for money. Now this may sound like the beginnings of some sappy, goofy singer/ songwriter love story film, and it sort of is. But with something else going for it: this guy is really good. Seriously. So, he ends up meeting this Girl (yes, that’s her name) played by a darling Marketa Irglova via an impromptu vacuum repair job, and one thing leads to another and before you know it, they’re in a music shop singing a duet. Girl on piano, Guy on guitar, singing, the whole nine. And you know what, I gotta be honest, I was in love. These two got it. Right away we see the girl’s affections for the guy sparking. Then we learn she has a kid and is married! Doh! Guy lives with his father in a small apartment now, after having his heartbroken by a cheating girlfriend, which makes for some good songwriting angst. Guy is falling for Girl too, but with their current circumstances, one wonders how things will ever work out between them.
Now, one of the most obvious perks of this movie is the soundtrack. I mean, these guys are good. Irglova has the sweetest voice and compliments Hansard wonderfully while on screen whether making music or not. Their talents shine (both are actually professional musicians in real life) and the chemistry is there.
But all in all, the movie seems to kind of go nowhere. Not that movies like this are supposed to include explosions and car chases or super- surprising plot twists or something, but it just kind of moves nicely along.
Okay, maybe I’m just bitter because the movie didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Without giving too much away, let’s just say my good old-fashioned romantic appetite was left wanting more.
With all that being said, overall “Once” was enjoyable and it had some heart. And some refreshingly good songs. If you enjoy romantic-type indie films then I would recommend this one, you probably won’t be disappointed.