People who don’t like musicals always fall back on the Realism Argument, contending that in real life we don’t start singing during conversations or solo walks in the Alps or whenever. This argument can be answered in a variety of ways: Don’t most of us have a soundtrack on shuffle in our heads? More important, who says musicals are supposed to be realistic?
The indie musical, embodied by the 2006 sleeper Once, has tried to sneak around the argument. In these movies people sing because they’re musicians; they sidle up to music, they shrug their way through a tune.