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Review Written by: Alex Sandell
idiot singing. Show of
hands: How many of you singing the praises of this film (and hopefully
you can sing better than Glen Hansard) are college age,
majoring in liberal arts and building your identities by declaring your
love for this trite, poorly made, low-budget independent film? How many
of you keep your non-"Hollywood" DVDs on display in milk-crates in your
dorm room, as a mating call and status symbol? That's what I thought.
Show of hands: How many people who didn't raise your hands for either
of the questions asked in the last paragraph LOVED this movie? Or even
saw it? No one? That's what I figured.
Horribly shot, horribly lit and filled with mediocre acting and
horrible songs, this is one to avoid. Not only isn't it "the best movie
of 2007" or "one of the best musicals ever made," it's quite possibly
the worst movie to ever receive critical acclaim.
People claim to love it because it isn't a "Hollywood" musical (which
is unfortunate, as Sweeney
kicks its ass, slits its throat and takes names).
Hmm. Are we simply going by location here? The plot itself is very
"Hollywood." A slight little love-story with an ending so sappy Oprah
would break down and cry (and then give a copy of the DVD to every
member of her studio audience!).
lighting, cinematography and directing didn't feel "Hollywood" at all,
but neither did the crummy home movies I watched at my Uncle's last
Christmas and I don't think that alone entitles said movies to
receive unwarranted praise by blathering morons trying to prove how "in
touch" with their feelings they are. To like this movie, your
"feelings" have to be at least partially formed by a ton of weed, a
little acid and a brand-spankin' new girlfriend who wears Birkenstock
sandals -- even in the winter.
When the lead "actor," Glen Hansard, started wailing away at the
beginning I literally thought it was a joke. I figured he'd be pushed
aside by a real singer and made a fool of. But I thought wrong -- this
screechy freak is the lead of the movie. And the only person to come
along is the one-note wonder played by Markéta
The two sort of fall in love in this weird way where their "romance"
makes them realize that they're in love with somebody else. They hook
up because they're mutually attracted to one-another's horrid voices.
It's like dogs arousing each other by sniffing each
asses. "Boy, that shit smells good! It smells even stronger than my
shit! I love you!"
John Carney, the so-called director of this miserable hell claiming to
be entertainment, documents the ass-sniffing love by never once
properly framing a shot. The guy can't even film these dorks walking
down the street without messing up.
And I guess what makes this movie "real" is the shaky hand-held camera.
It's like Michael J. Fox forgot to take his Parkinson's meds and was
told to shoot the movie using his palm as a tripod. And I suppose
Stevie Wonder did the lighting, as the movie is so poorly lit in places
you can't see a fucking thing that's going on. But oh, can you hear it.
And hear it.
And hear it.
And hear it.
These songs are unbearably obnoxious. They all sound identical and
they're all played multiple times. As though they're so moving that
hearing them once wasn't quite enough (the filmmakers should have
looked to the title of the film they were making for advice). Fans of
this atrocity of a film claim the music brought them to tears. One fan
claimed I was watching the movie with the wrong organ, and should have
been watching with my heart. Yes, that's the kind of person this movie
attracts. When he's not posting on forums, he's probably fingering clay
with Demi Moore.
I'll end this review with a statement as generic as the movie itself:
This movie isn't worth seeing even once (get it? "Once?" And
movie is called Once.
me.). I can't remember a more tedious experience at the theater. This
one makes Larry the Cable Guy look like fucking art. Stay away (and,
"Get 'er done!").