Imagine a world where no one knows John Lennon wrote “Imagine.” Then, imagine a world where Ed Sheeran recommends changing “Hey Jude” to “Hey Dude.” Seriously, what movie could disappoint with Beatles and Sheeran music? Could mass amnesia occur? And, what are the ethics of profiting off such an event? Admittedly, the premise is under-explored. But, Yesterday is really a love story, love of music, as well as love of one who has always believed in you. For a rom-com, that’s about as good as it gets. I give Yesterday 4 Gavels and it receives a 62% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a 100% very-small-sample Audience score.
Jack Malik is about to call it quits on his music career when he suffers injuries colliding with a bus during a 12 second power outage. Upon awakening, he discovers no one remembers The Beatles or their music. Under the guidance of his new, unfiltered agent, he becomes a worldwide phenomenon. But, will his first manager/teacher-girlfriend be left behind? After all, what price is fame?
Himesh Patel would be an unlikely Beatle, but he carries a tune very well. The closer he gets to the flame of fame, the more tortured he becomes. Lily James is Ellie, his soul-mate from the age of 14. Even dressed frumpily, her spirit shines through. Ed Sheeran still needs some acting lessons. Kate McKinnon, agent, steals every scene, so delightfully mercenary.
Why do I believe in Yesterday? The theater was very well attended and overheard conversations were very positive. The budget for the film was $26 million and reportedly $10 million of that was just to get the rights to use the Beatles’ songs. Interestingly, at least two authors claim they came up with this story-line prior to the movie, per IndieWire. Did the writers of the movie think they had a “ticket to ride? “Will these folks “come together” in court? Maybe a lawyer will tell the judge “we can work it out” “with a little help from my friends.” I could go on but will “let it be” by saying “all you need is love.” Anyway, grab your significant other and tell them “I want to hold your hand” at the movies. Yesterday would make a nice selection.