I'm not a big fan of Irish film (I find that generally it relies on accents and cursing to get laughs) so it was with bated breath that I rented Once over the weekend and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The film is about two lonely people in Dublin who come together through a shared love of music but it manages to avoid the thousands of cliches that normally surround romantic films. I think thats why I liked it so much, had this been a Hollywood or British film it would have been formulaic and dull. Likewise, unlike other Irish films, the scumbag druggey makes and early and singular appearance (I thought "here we go") before disappearing permanently and allowing the story to develop. In fact I can't understand the need for the scene at all, there must be some contractual commitment whereby all Irish films must have at least one scumbag and use the word "fuck" ten times in order to get funding from the Irish Film Bord.
Surprisingly the film is also a musical but the music is so neatly and realistically intertwined into the story it almost passes you by. But, at the risk of contradicting myself, it's also a third character and if I was a better writer and a big more creative I could probably wax on about how it symbolises something or other but I'm not, so I won't. And the music is very good, I'm fairly ambivalent about The Frames but this movie may have won me over, I'm not ambivalent about Irish film, but this one is worth seeing.