I had absolutely no faith that Yesterday would be a good film. In fact I had assumed it would be very average but it would kill a couple of hours in a hotel room and the soundtrack had to at least keep me going. For those that don’t know the plot, the idea is that the whole world forgets who The Beatles are aside from one person who is a singer-
The biggest issue the writers had to contend with is just how the whole world forgets that The Beatles existed but the main character doesn’t. They went for the following:
1. The main character gets hit by a bus and ends up in hospital.
2. There is a power cut throughout the world for twelve seconds
Considering that this is the twist of the entire film you would have thought they could have put a bit more effort in. Of course you are not going to get a believable scientific explanation for it all (maybe a parallel universe switch or something?) but this is a U for effort attempt (even after the Tories have regraded the film back to its original teacher assessed mark).
I could just about accept that with a worldwide power cut the force of the power surge frazzled everyone’s brains and blocked out any knowledge of The Beatles (not really but for the sake of a film plotline). However it also deleted all physical copies of The Beatles albums and very precisely too. The main character having thought that his friends were winding him up went home and checked his record collection to find that all his Beatles albums weren’t there but Bowie and whoever else he had in the B section were. Now that is incredible. On a side note Oasis also had stopped existing because they were so heavily influenced by The Beatles that there was no other way for them to exist.
Aside from music it turns out a few other things had disappeared. Harry Potter had not been written, Coke had not been invented but Pepsi had and no one had heard of a cigarette. A Google search of all these things bought zero (not Coke Zero (was that even worth the effort? (it would have been for this film))) results.
This leaves us with a situation where a twelve second power cut has caused not only people to forget a band exists but physically removes certain books and music that have been around for decades. It also does the same for a drink that has been in existence for decades and a product that in some form has been with us for thousands of years. However at the same time a bus accident has somehow shielded the main character from any of this.
Now again as there would be no actual scientific plausible way for this to actually happen without parallel universes (and even then you’d probably have to ask questions) they were never going to win but a little more effort might have helped. At least the end of the plot wasn’t that he woke up and it was all just a dream.
Having accepted the laziness of the twist it came as no surprise that the comedy part of the romantic comedy was no less lazy. If you thought my Coke Zero joke was bad then their actual use of Coke in the story for humour will only disappoint you further.
Server: Would you like to have a Pepsi?
Main Guy: Can I have a Coke?
Server: A What?
Main Guy: Okay I’ll have a Pepsi
This sequence was so funny/worthwhile they repeated it later on in the film.
Another ‘funny’ sequence was when the main character tries to play Let It Be to his parents but is interrupted a few times and gives up. It’s funny because he is playing one of the greatest songs of all time but his family is more interested in the phone ringing, the door being knocked and I can’t remember but it doesn’t matter. Basically it’s a lame gag that they managed to repeat quite a few times in a row. Do I give them half a bonus point for the fact that the song was Let It Be but the parents didn’t?
Another ‘humorous’ moment (and don’t worry we are on the penultimate one now) was when the main guy was with all the record company marketing types and they were revealing the name of his album. He had suggested St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but it had been too long, some of the other ones but they were too something I can’t remember and The White Album but that wasn’t seen as inclusive. The last one was especially hard to swallow seeing as they had no problem with a late twenties/early thirties (I am guessing) artist who is dating a teacher singing:
Well, she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another
Ooh, when I saw her standing there?
I mean it’s legal (at least in England) but you might think they’d of had words.
They in the end settled on something I can’t remember but it emphasised that he had written all the songs by himself because that never happens any more in pop music (except IRONY ALERT he hadn’t written them at all (bonus funny moment for you)).
This leads me to the final and what I had hoped wouldn’t be the funniest moment of the film as I had already seen this part in the trailer.
Ed Sheeran (yes I haven’t mentioned he has a large cameo in this) asks the main guy why the song is called Hey Jude, isn’t it a bit of an old fashioned name? How about we modernise it, how about we call it Hey Dude? You’d be ashamed of that pun in a pub and volunteer to buy the next round even though you’d bought the previous round because it was so bad. This was the best joke in the entire film. I think it would even struggle if it was part of a play and jokes in a play always get a laugh no matter how awful they are.
Having the main plot explanation fall flat on its face whilst crushing the comedy on its way down one had little to no hope for the rest of the film. I will briefly sum up the rest.
The main character was too ugly to be a rock star according to his new American manager. He had lost two teeth in the bus crash and that made him look goofy but then he got new teeth. They also wanted him to dress in stuff they bought him but he wanted to be true to himself in jeans and a t-
Well like in every other film he of course didn’t run away to Hollywood which is a shame because there is more than one right person in the world for you and if you are a huge rock star that ‘potential possibly right for you’ number must increase massively. It would be great to see a film where someone has to decide between his childhood sweetheart and fame and goes for the right option!
The added twist in this instance was his ‘one’ had started dating someone else who they both knew as he was away rocking but this was resolved when having come back to ‘claim her’ they asked her current boyfriend if he was okay with that and he said ‘Yeah, no problem’ because you know, that’s also completely plausible. In fact both the man and the woman who was now going to date the main guy were completely fine with current relationship ending. No tears were shed, no hug needed and only about twenty seconds of dialogue. Having been happy enough with the twenty second break-
The final part not worth, worth mentioning is that John Lennon is still alive. The main character goes to meet him and he’s happy, old and didn’t have a music career but that’s fine because he never wrote a song and was happy doing whatever job I can’t remember it turned out he did. That tied up that one and left him with no reason to bother finding the other Beatles.
I should also mention that two other people managed to meet the main character and thank him because they had also remembered The Beatles and were happy that he had kept their music alive. I have no idea if a bus accident was involved. He played Wembley at the end of the film and told everyone that he didn’t write the songs but I don’t think that made any difference. Oh and Ed Sheeran is in it, did I already mention that?
I'm in love with your body
I'm in love with your body
I'm in love with your body
I'm in love with your body
I had to hear that enough times that it cancelled out any joy of hearing The Beatles. I’ll end it there as I’m aware that it’s a crap way to end it but it will remind you of the film. Also you have just read four pages of Word about it which is far too long, also like the movie.