You haven't? I'll wait right here while you go out and find a theatre where it's still playing. (You can rent it starting Dec. 18, but that will be a long wait.) Not that there are spoilers ahead, you just have to see this movie.
Okay, good, you're back.
A long time ago we bought tickets to see Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová at Portland's Crystal Ballroom. They are the stars of Once, musicians starring in an unforced musical. He's also the lead singer for The Frames, a band I wasn't previously familar with. But I fell in love with Once, and the music in Once. When we got the tickets, we didn't know that was going to fall in a week when I'm already overbooked in the evenings, what with kid's mandolin lesson and a 3-hour plus FBI class. Or that it would be the evening of a day when my spouse was going to spend ten hours with a bunch of people who flew in from out of town trying to solve a crisis at work.
We didn't know it would fall in what could be one of the best weeks of my writing life for me. Or in the middle of what is surely one of the worst weeks for both of us personally.
So we debated - should we even go?
We went and it was marvelous. Glen's guitar and mike didn't work at first, so he stepped to the edge of the stage and sang "Once" into absolute silence. Their music made me forget everything else. Plus he told amazing stories (if the woman who yelled "Tell us about your first kiss!" was a plant, I don't want to know), gamely wore a cap someone had knit him, and sang with the kind of naked emotion and passion that you almost can't stand to watch.
Only do, if you get the chance. Go see the movie, buy the CD, buy the rest of The Frames CDs, and if you can, see them while they are on tour. About half the music came from the movie, half not, but it was all worth it.