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‘Yesterday’ (2019)
Working Title Films

Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Jack Barth & Richard Curtis
Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Joel Fry, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran & Ana de Armas

Summer is always a grab bag of movies. Some are the standard schlock, we get several blockbusters, a few romantic comedies, the occasional horror flick, etc. Every so often, we also get a film that defies exact classification and hits us like a refreshing evening breeze. ‘Yesterday‘ is just such a film. Co-written by Richard Curtis (‘Love Actually‘, ‘Pirate Radio‘) and directed by Danny Boyle (‘Slumdog Millionaire‘), ‘Yesterday’ isn’t exactly a rom-com, nor is it technically a drama or a plain outright comedy movie but it blends a little bit of all of these aspects into a fun, trip down the imaginary “What if…?” path.

The premise is simple: a struggling songwriter & musician (played brilliantly by Himesh Patel) gets into an accident during a mysterious world wide blackout. When he regains consciousness, he finds he’s the only one in the world who is able to remember The Beatles. With no one else having ever written these classic songs, he immediately sets to recording the many hits from The Beatles catalog and then passes them off as his own which suddenly catapults him into the fame, stardom and acclaim that he’s always wanted. But it doesn’t come without a cost. The cast is wonderful and seem to have a natural chemistry. Ed Sheeran was delightful as himself (one would hope, yeah?) and Lily James always lights up any scene in which she appears with a charismatic grace that effortlessly seems to guide her along. Kate McKinnon is a favorite of mine and there simply aren’t enough adjectives to describe her comedic exuberance. 

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The few problems I did have with this film are that the “incident” that resulted in this “Beatles blackout” was never explained. Not a deal-breaker and who knows if an explanation would have added or detracted from the story, but it still left me puzzled that it was never really addressed. The other issue I had was with the romantic aspect of the movie. The two main characters of Jack & Ellie are JUST friends throughout the first half of the film with Ellie also acting as Jack’s manager. They even make it a point of saying so several times early on in the movie. Therefore the sudden confession from Ellie that she has always loved Jack felt to me as though it were merely an afterthought in the plot. Luckily Himesh Patel & Lily James have such a good on-screen chemistry that it was something else I was able to brush aside. The music is great and the journey on which we are taken in the film is a fun one. I was also surprised once or twice by where the film went which was something that I’m not used to with many of today’s  Hollywood fare. ‘Yesterday’ is a fun, feel-good flick that you don’t need to think too hard about so just sit back, listen to the music and enjoy the ride. Even with it’s minor flaws, I’d say ‘Yesterday’ is able to “Come Together” to a 7.5 out of 10. Get your “Ticket To Ride” at theaters now for what promises to be one of the warmest movies of the summer.

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