Review by James Lindorf
What do you get when you combine Richard Curtis, the king of British Romantic Comedies (Notting Hill, Love Actually, Bridgett Jones Diary), and Danny Boyle, a creator of unique character-driven tales of all genres? This time, you get the speculative rom-com Yesterday. Struggling singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is ready to admit defeat, give up on his dream and return to his old job. After a freak accident lands him in the hospital, Jack is shocked to learn that he is the only person that remembers the music of The Beatles. Jack is faced with the moral dilemma of lying to his friends, family, and the rest of the world in order to achieve his rock ‘n’ roll dreams.
Himesh Patel is a revelation for anyone who hasn’t seen him in nearly 600 episodes of the BBC show EastEnders. He is great as the “down on his luck” dreamer struggling with his newfound fame and the unintended sacrifices it took to achieve it. Lilly James (Cinderella) is quirky and adorable as Jack’s best friend, manager, first (and sometimes only) fan, and unrequited love interest. Yesterday also stars Joel Fry as Jack’s somewhat undependable but lovable roadie, Rocky; Kate McKinnon, in her best performance ever, is an abrasive L.A. music agent who can’t wait to take her cut of the profits, and Ed Sheeran appears as “himself.”
Obvious credit goes to The Beatles for the music, without which the movie could not exist. However, Danny Boyle, Daniel Pemberton and Himesh Patel have to be commended for the terrific work done on this film. Their evolution of The Beatles songs to the point where they are so similar but not just a tired karaoke version, is wonderful. In all honestly, in some cases they have improved on the classic versions, especially with the song “Help”. There are even a few original songs thrown in by Jack and Ed to keep the music cues from becoming too predictable.
Yesterday is not a perfect movie. There are a couple of strange moments that could have been better used to further develop the formation and dissolution of Jack’s relationships. However, it is a sometimes uproariously funny romantic comedy and satirizing of the music industry, all between interludes of fantastic music.
- Watch Trailer For ‘The Underground Railroad’ Friday, May 14 - February 26, 2021
- Movie Review: ‘The Vigil’ And Interview With Star Dave Davis And Director Keith Thomas - February 26, 2021
- Watch Preview For ‘Clarice’ On CBS Thursday - February 25, 2021