I hate musicals. I mean I really hate musicals. They are my Kryptonite. I can suspend disbelief for a lot of things when I watch a movie or a TV show. Sure there are 20 bad guys with machine guns, and he only has a pistol. So what? He's the good guy and it is a movie. So what if a bullet would go trough that car door like the metal was a sheet of paper? It's a movie! Fat guy, Hot Wife? Why not? He's got personality, and a laugh track.
But the one thing I can't suspend disbelief for is a movie where someone just starts singing, and music comes out of nowhere, and everyone knows the words, and they know all of the choreography. And worst of all, is that the music is something you would never listen to unless you were forced to listen to it by Carson Kressley.
And then I see the movie "Once".
"Once" takes everything I hate about musicals, picks it up by its feet and shakes it down for lunch money. Politely.
The story is simple. An Irish street busker, played by Glen Hansard of the Frames, meets a nice Czech girl who is also a musician, and then they make beautiful music together.
What makes this movie so different from other musicals is that the music is in context. It makes sense. He is a street performer playing his songs. Then he teaches her some songs so she can play with him. She doesn't magically know the lyrics. She reads them off of his notebook. She learns the music there before your very eyes. The songs do progress the plot of the movie, by revealing the singers feelings, but they are believable. They are songs you would actually like to have on your iPod. Not ridiculous songs that sound like they were ripped from someones twitter posts or laundry list.
The acting is great. The music is great. It is a low budget, yet awesome movie.
It had a similar feel to the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy Before Sunrise/Sunset films. So if you liked those, definitely go for it. Even if you didn't like those, I am hard pressed to believe you could have a bone to pick with anything in this film.
Buy Once on DVD by clicking here.