Review: Yesterday Is A Charming Romcom Which Honours The Beatles

At the centre of Yesterday is an intriguing idea – a world where The Beatles have never existed.

No John, Paul, George and Ringo. No chanting along to Hey Jude. No crying to Let It Be.

We can all agree the world would be a different and much colder place without the iconic band, which makes the uplifting tone of Yesterday a surprise, a pleasant one though as it works well.

You can watch the trailer for Yesterday here:

After an accident Himesh Patel’s struggling musician Jack finds himself to be the only one in the world who remembers The Beatles, so he decides to pass the songs off as his own.

As he finds fame and fortune with the music, Jack’s friendship with Lily James’ Ellie starts to waver, the only person who has always believed in him.

It wasn’t hard to predict where this story was heading…

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Although Yesterday is predictable and unashamedly cheesy, I just didn’t care as it is a complete joy to watch.

Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis are two of the most talented Brits currently working in the industry, so their teaming up is a dream come true, and you knew Yesterday would be in safe hands.

To be honest, I am surprised it has taken until 2019 for the pair to work together, but it was worth the wait.

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Curtis’ script is romantic, funny and heartbreaking, and one of his best since Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral era.

It constantly screams ‘this is a quirky British romcom’, but in the hands of director Boyle it also has an edge which only the man behind Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire could bring.

During a Q and A at a preview screening at HOME in Manchester, Boyle emphasised how he wanted to ensure the movie had a melancholic undertone, something he has achieved.

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While Yesterday is populated by looks of love and upbeat guitar melodies, it also considers the serious themes of loss, memory and the cost of fame.

This all adds more depth to the story and you will ask yourself when the end credits role, ‘what would the world really be like without The Beatles, a band which had such an impact on culture?’

Yesterday never forgets it is a fun romcom though, and to properly enjoy it you have to go along with just how wonderfully ridiculous it is.

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Kate McKinnon’s agent is as absurd as they get, but I imagine those people do exist in the strange world of Hollywood.

Her bluntness will continually make you laugh, and while the Saturday Night Live star is the main source of comic relief, the film ensures audiences smile and giggle throughout.

Even Ed Sheeran manages to pull off his jokes, and thankfully his cameo never feels forced, instead coming across as natural on screen.

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At the heart of the film is the chemistry between the ever fabulous Lily James and newcomer Himesh Patel, a chemistry which takes you in from the start.

From James’ longing glances it is clear she is madly in love with her best friend, but Patel’s Jack is too naive and unobservant to realise.

Curtis and Boyle therefore have you hooked from the very start, as you know they belong together and want to see where the ‘will they, won’t they’ journey will end.

Just like the central romance, The Beatles music is irresistible and works beautifully alongside the story.

Honouring the legendary band, you will be toe-tapping along and grinning like a fool as Curtis and Boyle remind us ‘all you need is love’.


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Emily Murray

Emily Murray


Emily is a journalist and film critic who unashamedly cries at most movies having got too emotionally attached. When not at the cinema, she is at home cuddling her cat Holmes, whilst binge watching New Girl. She can be found on Twitter @emilyvmurray