If someone recommended a movie but told you that 60% of the movie was music and the movie part of the movie constituted the minority, would you have even given the movie a second thought? I'm glad that I usually don't get any movie recommendations so no one scared me away from Once. Yes, this is a musical, but the music is intertwined with the movie so much so that there would be no movie without the music. Once is about a heart-broken man who meets a woman and, by chance, she motivates him to work on his music. They develop a chemistry, but he's still getting over an ex while the girl has a husband. The music in this movie is intertwined in a manner atypical of musicals in that the music does not interrupt the story. The music and the story are they same beast and grow together. Nobody breaks into song in front of the audience. It's difficult to illustrate, but the music adds tremendously to the story. Had I heard the music somewhere else, I don't think I would have loved it as much as when I heard it in the movie. And I don't think the story would have been as good without the music. The guy and the girl compose the music together and you can see their relationship develop at the same time. I'm also a sucker for love stories where not everyone gets what they want but they are still optimistic about life and move on. So there is a story to this movie.
The people who play the guy and the girl are very talented. They are not actors, but they are acting and you wouldn't know it. They are even better musicians. I'm a little inspired to continue working on the guitar again. There is one thing though: you may not enjoy this movie as much if you are not into "rock" music. Other than that, I highly recommend Once. Both the story and the sound will move parts of your emotion unexpectedly. Hopefully you will remember the story and love its music even after the credits roll.