Jack Malik is a singer-songwriter extraordinaire, or that’s what his best friend, biggest fan, and manager Ellie likes to tell him. In reality, Jack is a struggling up-and-coming pub singer – until he’s involved in an accident at the exact same time as total blackout strikes the globe. Jack wakes up to find out that he seems to be the only person on the planet who remembers The Beatles. “Yesterday” follows his rapid ascent to fame after he begins reconstructing The Beatles’ catalog from memory. All you need is love – and maybe a little honesty?
First things first – I’m in love with both the director, Danny Boyle, and the screenwriter, Richard Curtis, so I wouldn’t exactly say this review situation is coming from an unbiased perspective. But that being said, I like to think I can walk into a film and give it some semblance of objectivity when a person asks me if it was any good. And, as objectively as I can muster, I gotta say: This is a great film.
Richard Curtis, of ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Love Actually’ fame knows just how to get hold of the audience in the heartstrings and then never let go. Jack could easily be one of those obnoxious, clueless types, and Ellie might be just another run-of-the-mill adjacent, throwaway female sidekick, but Curtis gives them both a heart, and then Himesh Patel and Lily James, respectively, fill them all the way up with soul.
“Yesterday” is the kind of movie you want to take your whole family to see when you’re looking for a feel-good summer flick that’s going to leave you satisfied without working your brain too hard. Your Standby Line girls trekked an absurd four hours to check out an advanced screening of this bad boy, and when we left the cinema, we were glad to have gotten the chance. And that’s really saying something when we could’ve just waited it out for another month until it turned up in local theaters!
I’d be remiss to write anything up at all without mentioning the reason we’re including it in our podcast on our blog – Kate McKinnon. Speaking of biased, you know that we are when it comes to that girl. She’s an intuitive performer who’s really starting to learn the ropes and play the part of a bonafide Hollywood movie star. I’ve gotta say it: There’s not much I love more than sitting in a packed theater auditorium and listening to the audience love someone that I also love. And this audience ate her up! She brings all the charm we’ve come to know and adore from one of our favorite goofballs, and she injects a lot of heart into a character who could quite easily become something more akin to a villain.
And what’s cooler than watching someone you see perform live on stage each week show up and nail a part that’s nothing like what she’d be given the opportunity to play on a sketch show?
What I’m trying to say is: I loved this movie. We were lucky enough to be able to sign up for advanced screening tickets, and fortunate enough to be able to show up in time to be let in when a bunch of folks behind us in line were not, and I’m so grateful for that. This is the kind of film that’s perfect for any age group, so long as the people in question like music, and comedy, and movies full of warmth and heart. It’s summertime, after all: If the heat’s driving you mad, duck into your nearest cinema and cool off with air conditioning and Richard Curtis. You won’t be disappointed!