Once costars Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova fell in love sometime in the summer of 2007, during a tour to promote the film. And now, roughly 15 or 16 months later, they’re toast. But they’re feigning a kind of serene acceptance of this melancholy fact (or so it seems to me) for the sake of promoting Strict Joy, which everyone is calling their “breakup album.”

Marketa Irglova, Glenn Hansard

And now N.Y. Times guy David Carr, in a very nicely but carefully written profile, has passed along their recent history (the success of Once and the Swell Season on top of the whole gettin’-over-it-and-movin’-on thing) and taken a measure of the album as a portrait of this.

Carr makes it clear which side he’s on when he describes Hansard as “a gifted, emotive frontman who sings as if he must, with a heart on his sleeve that is constantly throbbing” while calling Irglova “the embodiment of a harmonist, a supporting voice on the edge of the limelight whose feelings seem buried deep behind a smile of musical contentment.”

Are we following the drift? Guys almost never break things off unless they’ve fallen for someone else, and there’s no hint of that having happened with Hansard. To me, Irglova is almost certainly the one who snapped the branch. She’s the solo dancer, the decider, the disappointed party…or so I suspect.

I realize I’m just spewing hot air, of course, but with Irglova-Hansard declining to talk and Carr refusing to dig for the truth, what’s an interested party to do? Carr’s diplomatically deciding to let the ex-lovers slide is understandable from a certain perspective, but burying the blow-by-blow doesn’t feel right. What happened? Nobody detonates a two-year love affair and then smiles and says “everything’s cool” and “the show must go on” two or three months later like it’s so much spilt milk. Love is never that orderly or tame. There’s a serious love story here, and I for one would like to know what it is…or at least was.