My wife and I saw the movie version in 2006. A low-key affair, its melancholy vibe was kind of a welcome change from the force-fed happy endings I'm used to. The stars of Once, who also wrote the songs, broke up by the time they won the Oscar for Best Original Song, amping its bittersweet aura.
Once became the hipster's favorite movie of the year, treating it as a musical version of a lost story by Franz Kafka. Its Oscar-winning number was the tearful "Falling," whose lyrics cleverly rhyme "you" with "you," "me" with "me," and "home" with "choice." But what its young fans identified with was the song's heartfelt, heartsick, heartburn-inducing cri de coeur expressing a love that nobody else in history has ever felt or will feel again. You remember that bullshit from your youth, don't you?
|"I take that as a personal insult."|
Once? If only!
As time passed, new commercials for the show aired, featuring "real" audience members (paid for their services), swooning over what they just experienced. A middle-aged man, responding to his wife's astonishment at how much he enjoyed Once, muttered, "Hey, I have feelings, too!" So do I -- and I feel like throwing up.
|The cast checks for dog crap on their shoes.|
But that won't be necessary much longer. The new commercial that aired last Sunday warned that Once is closing in January.
"Thank God!" I cried aloud. It was the most welcome announcement since V-J Day. This is your final chance, whispered the announcer, to see the musical that transformed Broadway.
Really? Honest? Do you swear?
So all you non-New Yorkers, be on the lookout for Once's road company commercials next year, and don't say you weren't warned. Now if only that damn Wicked musical would shutter its doors so I don't have to deal with those commercials. So if you care to find me/Look to the western sky!...
I think I'll be heading east, thank you. Like China.