Yesterday - Five Reasons You'll Love It
We know Richard Curtis best for his life-long devotion to one of the world's greatest mysteries. What makes people fall in love?
Whether that's been unrequited love in Four Weddings And A Funeral, unlikely love in Notting Hill or just about every kind of love imaginable in Love, Actually, it is Curtis's trademark and what has earned him a very healthy living in the process.
But there's one other love which matches and perhaps even surpasses this for Curtis. Pop music.
He channelled this on 2009's ode to pirate radio The Boat That Rocked and has carefully curated the soundtrack on each and every one of his movies. Now though, he gets his dream ticket. The Beatles.
His new movie Yesterday tells the story of Jack Malik, a struggling musician who after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed and only he can remember their songs.
Newcomer Himesh Patel leads the way, with Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Joel Fry, Ed Sheeran and Lamorne Morris also in key roles.
Sheeran has also contributed new music for the film, which will sit alongside some choice cuts from The Beatles' back catalogue. Curtis provides the script, while Danny Boyle is in the director's chair.
The film is out now in UK cinemas and will be released on DVD later this year. But, before that, we caught an early screening and have brought together five reasons why you'll love it...
The central conceit works...
For very sensible reasons, things don't get too scientific when it comes to the explanation of how The Beatles have disappeared from the world's collective memory. But it does give Curtis and Boyle license to have a lot of fun with the concept. That's where a lot of the film's best moments are to be found.
It's very charming...
Like all of Curtis' work, it embraces a bumbling anti-hero who we watch make mistake after mistake, somehow making himself more endearing along the way. It's a well-trodden path for Curtis, but it works, yet again.
The Beatles' catalogue is handled well...
The film gets through a fair few of the Fab Four's classics, but it's not just the big hits. There are deep cuts and fan favourites thrown in there too.
Kate McKinnon is having a great time...
McKinnon plays Deborah, a ruthless music manager who snaps Malik up. She's a scheming, madcap Cruella DeVil character and McKinnon revels in the role.
Himesh Patel and Lily James have great chemistry...
The vast majority of this film is a fun summer spectacle, but the movie really crackles when James and Patel's characters are alone together. James plays Ellie, Jack's manager and long-time supporter and sort-of love interest. The awkward moments where the path are forced to confront their feelings for each other are very well drawn. That's where Curtis is really in his element.
Yesterday is out in UK cinemas now and will be released on DVD later this year. You can pre-order it here in hmv's online store.