“Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.” John Lennon
A lyric from one of my favorite John Lennon songs, “Imagine.” I’d be hard pressed to imagine a world where John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney – collectively known as The Beatles – didn’t exist, but enjoyed my 116 minutes of suspended disbelief while viewing the new romantic comedy YESTERDAY – named after one of the group’s biggest hits.
In the movie, John Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter on the brink of giving up on his dreams. A global blackout occurs, which leads to a freak accident involving John, and he awakes to find that The Beatles never existed and he is the only person who remembers, mostly, their music. Hilarity ensues, John’s career takes off, and he is forced to make several major decisions – including his feelings about his best friend and former manager Ellie (Lily James).
By far, “Yesterday” is the most entertaining and original film I’ve seen this summer – where remakes, reboots and sequels are ruling the box office. Patel, who does his own singing in the film, is a delight to watch, Joel Fry as John’s friend/road manager steals almost every scene he’s in, as does Kate McKinnon who is a comedic gem as his money-focused agent Debra. And speaking of comedic gems – the Ed Sheeran scenes are laugh out loud funny!
At it’s core, the movie is a love story – one that’s less interesting than the premise of the The Beatles not existing – and I still don’t understand why (slight spoiler) the main character would have a dilemma choosing to follow a career, that was long paused, AND having a relationship both.
Yet, the movie is most entertaining when it focused on John’s efforts to re-create the group’s catalog, manage his imposter syndrome, and deal with the discovery of what else fell into the non-existent category – including one of my must have treats Coca-Cola (which is mentioned in a fave lyric in the hit song “Come Together”) and humorously the band Oasis. Note some background stories here and here, and then enjoy several funny moments in the film.
And if you’re a lover of The Beatles or pop music in general, you’ll especially dig the music/concert scenes – which evoked sing-alongs from several audience members at my screening.
Nostalgic, modern and witty, “Yesterday” is a feel good fantasy must see, especially for music movie lovers. I rate it 3.5 out of 5 on the MMTrometer. YESTERDAY opened in theaters nationwide on June 28.
Until next thought, Thomasena
Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life.
Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.
Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Emmy winner Kate McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him. With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love.
Featuring new versions of The Beatles’ most beloved hits, Yesterday is produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Love Actually, About A Boy, the Bridget Jones series) alongside Matthew James Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Curtis and Boyle also produce. Nick Angel, Lee Brazier and Liza Chasin serve as executive producers.
|Starring||Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Kate Mckinnon|
|Directed By||Danny Boyle|
|Produced By||Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Matthew James Wilkinson, Bernie Bellew, Richard Curtis, Danny Boyle|
|Executive Produced By||Nick Angel, Lee Brazier, Liza Chasin|