Yesterday: Film Review

I love a lot of Richard Curtis‘ films but I wasn’t taken with the concept of Yesterday and the film failed to change my mind on that. It’s certainly not one of his – or director Danny Boyle‘s – best projects.

Himesh Patel stars as Jack, a struggling musician who has been performing his original tracks locally in Suffolk without much success. One night, he announces to his manager and best friend Ellie (Lily James) that he’s giving up because it’s just not happening for him – and then he gets hit by a bus and wakes up in a world where The Beatles don’t exist. He starts to perform Beatles songs like they’re his and becomes an overnight sensation.

Yesterday is one of those films where the best bits are in the trailer, from him Googling The Beatles and Ed Sheeran asking him to change Hey Jude to Hey Dude. It’s a pleasant watch and the Beatles thing certainly gives it a unique, interesting angle, but it is basically a story of a musician realising money and fame don’t equal happiness and the one he loves has been right in front of him all along.

It was funny enough and made me smile but didn’t provide any major laughs or surprises. The film pans out exactly how you think it will and while I usually love the predictability of romcoms, on this occasion, I was hoping for something different to make it stand out from the crowd.

Patel was a fun and likeable lead. He has a beautiful singing voice and it was refreshing to see someone with Indian heritage lead a romcom. James is given this frizzy curly hair to make her seem more ‘relatable’ and she was my favourite. She’s been Jack’s reliable friend for years and she doesn’t understand why he’s never been interested in her romantically. James was so lovely and did the major emotional work, Joel Fry added to the comedy as Jack’s unreliable roadie Rocky, and Kate McKinnon was as fabulous as ever as the cutthroat music manager Debra Hammer – I wanted more of her. Sheeran is actually in it more than you’d expect and acting isn’t really his thing but it’s entertaining watching him give it a crack once again. He actually made me laugh a fair bit.

Naturally, given the concept, Yesterday has some good music moments and gives you the feel-good factor, but I just didn’t care about the story, perhaps because I knew how it was going to end up – and it ends up in an extremely sentimental and cringey place. It’s a cute, undemanding film but ultimately quite average and forgettable.

In cinemas Friday 28th June

Rating: 3/5

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