Sunday, October 7, 2007

Once and Again

The centerpiece of the wonderful new Irish movie Once is a scene that takes place in a music store, as guitar-strumming busker Glen Hansard shows teenage Czech immigrant pianist Marketa Irglova (their characters are never named) a song he has supposedly just written, "Falling Slowly." The way they connect, both musically and emotionally, with Irglova learning the song while Hansard plays it for her, is just lovely, as are the working-class atmospherics of the music store -- it is the only place the povertous Irglova can go to play the piano.

But the problem with the scene is that I half-expected Irglova to recognize the song right away: the first lines of "Falling Slowly" trace the same melody as the opening lines to Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me." The lyrics are even very similar; Hansard has "I don't know you/But I want to," while Smokey sang, "I don't like you/But I love you."

Ah, the irrepressible Irish. Even when they're robbing you blind, you can't help but love 'em.


Joe said...

Wait. I saw this movie. "Wonderful"?


T. Nawrocki said...

I went in literally not knowing a thing about it, and I found it charming. I'm not the only one: "It's a magical, beguiling wonder" -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

I trust everything I read in Rolling Stone.

Joe said...

Well, it beguiled me out of $10.50, which implies a kind of magic I would term "black" rather than "wonderful."

Remember when people would have conversations like this on the phone? The internet. What a magical, beguiling wonder it is!