Dir. Danny Boyle
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“No one’s ever written this many great songs. How do you do it?”
When you absolutely must have a feel-good romantic comedy – Richard ‘Love Actually’ Curtis is your man – here he teams up with director Danny ‘Trainspotting’ Boyle to bring a musical spin to the well-worn boy / girl formula.
The plot sees struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) whose lack of success is making him think he should just give up. The only people who seem to support his dreams are his childhood friend Nick (Harry Michell) and loyal manager Ellie (Lily James).
Jack’s world is rocked one night when a freak occurrence sees the whole world ‘lose’ memories of things like cigarettes and more importantly the band ‘The Beatles’… He gets hit by a bus and wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed so quickly sets about claiming their music as his own.
"rock star lovers?"
On the back of some of the best tunes the world has ever known Jack quickly becomes a massive star, but the price of fame is that he risks losing Ellie’s as yet unrequited love. Does getting to mix with the likes of Ed Sheeran (who delivers a nice cameo) and find worldwide fame make up for forsaking his true love?
Patel whose acting chops were cut in EastEnders is extremely likeable and can carry a tune which helps. Lily James is great as the girl next door high-school teacher and the two have winning chemistry which is essential to the love story at the heart of this slightly odd tale.
Sure, it gets gooey but it’s handled with Curtis’s stylish crowd-pleasing charm and Boyle directs with a confident hand even if there isn’t much room for him to dazzle with is trademark flair.
A mild element of peril is introduced as it appears that someone might be on to his plagiarism – will Jack be exposed as the sham that he is or can he find a way to pull off his superstar status and maybe win the heart of the girl too?
Yesterday’s masterstroke however is the tunes of The Beatles – they are so good that even as the predictable plot unfolds the sheer genius of the songs keeps you going. There’s enough humour and well observed notes on fame and heartbreak to make this a worthwhile investment of time.
Smash hits and love – they say all you need is love but why not have both!?
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - Nonsense but fun Beatles-em-up)
Awesomeness ööö – The songs shine
Laughs ööö – Plenty of fun
Horror ö – Nothing to report
Spiritual Enlightenment ö - Plagiarism isn't all it's cracked up to be...