Yesterday (2019)

Yesterday_(2019_poster)

A feel-good movie 

PG-13 | 1h 56min
Dir: Danny Boyle. Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran (as himself), Joel Fry, Kate McKinnon, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal.

The basic plot is preposterous – a down-at-heel musician (Jack Malik) wakes up in an alternate reality where no one has heard of the Beatles. He sets about releasing their songs as his own to great acclaim.

Of course, the music is great (and reminds you just how versatile the Beatles were). There is a bit of a side-swipe at Oasis who don’t exist without The Beatles but other music exists unchanged. That’s a bit unfair on Oasis and also doesn’t give a true indication of how much of our modern music is Beatles influenced. The hole in our culture left by taking the Beatles out could have been explored more in the film and that’s really my only criticism.

At heart, though this is a RomCom about the relationship between Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) and Ellie Appleton (Lily James). Yesterday delivers a simple, upbeat message that love is all you need (where did they get that idea from?!). It does this in a very funny way. I loved Ed Sheeran (playing himself) and the hard-nosed Kate McKinnon as Jack’s manager. I found Kate (played by Kathryn McKinnon Berthold) very funny with her hard-nosed, unsentimental business viewpoint playing well off the increasingly doubting Jack. Her role hasn’t been mentioned much in reviews but, for me, it was one of the comedy highlights.

I couldn’t help but leave this film humming ‘Hey Jude’ and feeling a little more positive about the world. “Feel-good movie” is a cliche but also a very accurate description of Yesterday.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

Stars4

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