Friday, November 20, 2015

I used to have a romantic streak.

I'll admit, I'm no less shallow than the next guy when it comes to what I find attractive in a woman. A great body, long legs, beautiful eyes, uh...winning personality, all that typical, ultimately unimportant bullshit. But, and I can't stress this enough, there is one (potentially [more?] ridiculous) thing that will turn my head so fast, it's likely to pop off and roll across the floor in a bloody semi-circle, somehow maintaining a creepy smile.

Her voice.

I don't want her to be able to kill my dog with a sigh, or be asked anything else, sir? at the drive-thru, but a higher or lower pitched voice has always driven me wild. Smokey like Scarlett Johansson, or even squeaky like Joey Lauren Adams, I've always appreciated (/totally lusted over) women with unique voices. Maybe I'm a freak, or maybe I just love good aural. 

But if you happen to sound like a regular person when you talk? There's still a good chance that I will still love you endlessly, prior to ever laying my eyes upon you: have an accent or be able to sing. One of those will do, too. Just keep it at one, okay?

As both just might make my heart explode.

After holding a boombox over my head outside the window of Begin Again [review], it was apparent I needed to see director John Carney's earlier ode to love and music, the 2006 film Once. Clearly, Carney has the market cornered on acoustic guitar-laden, bittersweet romances, but there's an undeniable charm to these remarkably similar films.

But even while I enjoyed Once, that's also the number of times I'll watch it. Begin Again? Turn it all the way up, and put that shit on loop.

Set in Dublin, Once initially seems to be about an unnamed, down-on-his luck street musician. By day, this charming gent (coolly played by Glen Hansard), when on break from the vacuum repair shop, croons popular music. But by night he f--king belts out original numbers. And like every guy I've ever known within a three-foot vicinity of an acoustic guitar, he's doing it for the ladies. Not necessarily the one he wants, but rather the one he had.

Things begin to change when a lovely, though mysteriously coy young woman shows up. She may be interested in this Guy, it's possible, but she also really needs her Hoover fixed, too. No, seriously. She does. But after an impromptu jam session in a music store, it's altogether obvious that this dude has fallen for her. So hard in fact, you might want to just vacuum around him.

But that's when Carney does his thing.

To say anymore would ruin it, but it's safe to mention that Once is just as lovely as everyone says it is. For a minute I was a bit overwhelmed with the lack of actual talking, but I enjoyed the music so much it didn't matter. Both leads are tremendously likable (and talented), the story moves along effortlessly, and the microscopic budget makes it all feel incredibly intimate. But my advice, you might just want to click it off five minutes early.

Also something you shouldn't finish, are the Yays and Boos. Actually, you probably shouldn't even start them, either. F--k. It's too late, isn't it?

  • I loved the way she first shows up. What a great reveal.
  • Dude, that nighttime song he was singing? F--king passionate, right?
  • Tell me about her. Cue the rad song at the back of the bus.
  • F--k you, batteries. 
  • One of my favorite scenes occurs in in one of my least favorite places: the bank. That part takes such an unexpectedly sweet turn, I was smiling like an asshole. Loved it.
  • Engineer Guy sets a cinematic record for fastest redemption ever. As soon as I wrote the word 'asshole', I was crossing it out. With hearts.
  • Oh, man. After they record the album, they all pile into then car for a listen. F--king brilliant, this. 
  • And finally, truth. I've only seen two films directed by Carney, but I bow with respect at the level of honesty in his work. People in movies, especially in romantic ones, tend to do things like, well, people in movies. Not with Carney. In fact, they pretty much do the opposite. I've never been so pleased with being disappointed.
Guitar Guy is also Motorcycle Guy? Shit.
There wasn't a puppy near by?
  • Look, maybe I've been married to my wife for too long, but vacuums are supposed to make your floors cleaner, right? You might not want to drag the thing all over f--king Dublin. Unless you plan on boiling the wheels later.
  • Okay, the song at the music shop is phenomenal, right? Right. Then someone explain to me how there isn't a crowd of people standing around them after they finish! What the f--k, people? (not even the guy working there saunters over? Really?)
  • Kids. So adorable. Even when they are totally killing your boner.
  • The scene with the motorcycle. Only a girl that you love can get away with being such an awful person. If that were a guy demanding to drive the bike? Knock that shit off or I'll kill your entire family in their sleep. But a pretty girl? Oh, you. Stop it, silly! No! C'mon!
  • I love when people are speaking another language and we don't get subtitles. Really, I do. But between you and me, there were times when people were speaking English and I needed f--king subtitles. This, I don't really love.
  • Writing a song while watching a video of your ex? Ouch.
  • It's been so long, I don't really even remember how awkwardly some of my dates ended. But if I ever need to be reminded, I'll simply watch this movie again. There's a kiss on the cheek here that's so soul-crushing, it makes an earlier handshake feel like a handjob. Damn, Girl. Damn.
  • And finally, the aforementioned truth. Yes, it was way more practical that it ended like it did. Probably even more believable, too. But what the f--k, right? That shit hurt.
You know, when I look back, I think of how silly it was that the sound of a woman's voice even entered the conversation of important qualities I was looking for. There's so much more to a relationship than something that trivial. I mean, it's just a voice. It's just the sound that you'll be hearing every day... for the rest of your life. Unless you have kids, of course.

Because then? You know how many times you actually get to hear each other speak?

I'll let you figure it out.


  1. Love this post so much! I happened to hear the Falling Slowly song before I knew it was even from this movie, fell in love with it, and then realised I should probably watch Once. Ugh. It's just so beautiful!
    - Allie

    1. Well, thank you, Allie. There was definitely a tune I recognized right away while watching this one, I just couldn't come up with the name of the song.'re totally right. Falling Slowly was it!

      As for the film, I did enjoy it...but I'm totally devoted to Begin Again, you know? Like, I might pop that one the big question...

      Why am I such an idiot?

  2. Oh you would love me. I almost always get carded because my voice is so high.

    As for this film - no. If I ever meet Carney I'll knee him in the groin and that's just for Begin Again's ending and I hear this one is even worse

    1. Just stop it. Don't take this the wrong way...but I always imagined you more ScarJo. But you're saying it's the opposite? Goodness.

      That's hilarious, by the way. A knee to the groin sounds just about right. Though, I might opt for the pat on the back instead. Apparently I love my heart being toyed with, before ultimately being stomped on.

    2. I'm just glad with all my bitchiness you are not imagining me as the Alien Queen.

    3. Hahaha. Not at all.

      Well, fine. Maybe a little.

      But that's what I dig about you and your site. There's an edge. An honest voice, you know?

      (and a high one at that! Rowr.)

  3. I'm glad people appreciate voices like Scarlett Johansson's because I fall into the "smokey" category more than I don't and it used to really bother me. lol

    I loved Once, I like that the ending was different, but man I just wanted them to run away together. That was devastating, but a good devastating, I guess.

    1. You ladies are killing me today! If this we're eight grade, I'd totally ask for a call. Gosh. Heads outta the gutter, please.

      I TOTALLY agree about the movie! Yes, it's the right thing to do to get back together with the kid's father...but where's the romance in that? Run away and sing songs on a motorcycle...or a vacuum.