Monday, July 01, 2019
Movie Monday: Yesterday
Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, is a struggling musician...really struggling. He plays small venues where his friends make up most of the audience and writes his own songs, but after years of working, he hasn't seemed to make any progress. His manager and old friend, Ellie, played by Lily James, keeps encouraging him, but one night, after yet another performance with almost no audience, he decides to quit. Riding his bicycle home, there is a sudden black-out, all over the world, and Jack gets hit by a bus. When he wakes up in the hospital - battered and bruised and missing his front teeth - Ellie is by his side. Over the next few days, he begins to notice that his friends don't understand his references to Beatle's songs, and when he sings Yesterday for them on the new guitar Ellie gave him, they are stunned by the song and thinks he wrote it. Many trips to Google confirm that he is now living in a world where no one - except him - has ever heard of the Beatles or knows any of their songs. He begins playing the songs and quickly gains attention, including from Ed Sheeran, playing himself. Bringing his friend Rocky, played by Joel Fry, along as his roadie, Jack quickly rises and gains fame. A Hollywood agent named Debra, played hilariously over-the-top by Kate McKinnon, takes him under his wing and quickly makes him famous, but Jack has doubts - about lying about writing the songs and about the role that Ellie plays in his life.
We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this unique movie that combines a musical with a romcom and adds a dash of sci fi. It's just plain fun, from beginning to end, and the very definition of a feel-good movie. Of course, the music is great, and it's fun to watch Jack to try remember all the lyrics to all the songs. It is also very, very funny, with plenty of laughs packed in from all the characters, including Jack's parents who really don't understand his newfound fame. Patel, a British actor who I'd never heard of before, is excellent in the lead role, juggling drama, awkward romance, humor, and music adeptly. I have noticed that many (most?) movie critics have been less-than-impressed with this movie and been - well, critical, but all of the regular people (i.e. my friends!) who have seen it have enjoyed it as much as we have. So, to the critics, I say...relax! Just chill out, sit back, and go along for the ride. I think this is the perfect summer movie - poignant, very funny, great music, and with a clever premise. We walked out of the theater smiling and singing (and spent the next few days trying to remember all the Beatles' lyrics!). In fact, I'd like to watch it again just to experience that pure entertainment joy.
Check out the trailer to see for yourself:
Yesterday is currently in theaters. You can purchase tickets (including for recliner theaters, like we did!) through Fandango: