What if The Beatles were forgotten by almost everyone one Earth? That is the basic premise behind Danny Boyle’s new Richard Curtis penned Rom-Com Yesterday. It’s a really interesting and original idea for a film, that sees a struggling musician, who appears to be the only man who can remember them so begins to pass off their music as his own.
Sadly though only the premise really stands out as original. For the most part Yesterday ends up being a run of the mill Richard Curtis Rom-Com. If you go through a lot of Richard Curtis’ films then you certainly see him plugging in a fairly familiar story into different situations, and that’s what you get with Yesterday. The core of the film is the relationship between Himesh Patel’s Jack Malick and Lily James’ Ellie.
It follows a lot of the Rom-Com conventions, with the usual ups and downs, before have everything wrapped up in a neat bow at the end. Thankfully with Danny Boyle at the helm, and a host of classic songs behind it, Yesterday is a perfectly enjoyable film. Boyle utilises The Beatles’ music exceptionally well throughout, knowing where and when to use each song effectively, and showcasing them well for the fans.
The other big strength of the film is Patel and James. Both are fantastic as the leads. Charming, likeable, and with great chemistry. There’s a lot of good supporting performances as well, with Joel Fry in particular delivering a lot of the best comedy. There are a couple of big disappointments though, one being Ed Sheeran, who obviously isn’t an actor, but it really shows, although his willingness to mock himself is good. The other is Kate McKinnon, who frequently is a standout in films, but in Yesterday find herself stuck playing a caricature more than a character.
If you’re a Beatles fan that you will probably enjoy Yesterday. The same can probably be said for Rom-Com fans, particularly thanks to Boyle, Patel, and James. But I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that a film with such an original premise ended up falling back on something so safe and predictable.