I have now become, I expect, the last person on earth to see John Carney’s Once. I very much like the idea of angrily chasing a thief down the street only to end up giving him money, and enjoyed the musicians busking by the statue of Phil Lynott on Grafton Street that he invites along to a recording session who ask ‘Will you be doing any Lizzie? ’Cause we only, like, do Lizzie.’ I liked the whole thing, but the chick-flick boilerplate on the DVD box from Blockbuster was laying down some strong markers as to what a piece of schlock you could expect, which set me wondering. The film isn’t exactly about falling in love, since the couple go their separate ways at the end without having really come together, but then it isn’t about rekindling their old loves either, since ‘Guy’ might come straight back from London and the Czech Dad that ‘Girl’ wants to reconcile with doesn’t seem too bothered either. It isn’t quite about the agony and ecstasy of art either, given how much of the film they spend just goofing around. But when they do make music it gets serious, very serious indeed. So what I think the film is about is how one thing will always flip-flop into its opposite, and the state of irresolution between consequence and inconsequence, commitment and indifference, in which we live. It’s a tragicomedy, in other words.