Yesterday harnesses the nostalgia which comes from listening to The Beatles to deliver a rather awkward, if not one-sided and uncomfortable love story.
|Screenplay By||Richard Curtis|
|Genre(s)||Comedy, Fantasy, Music, Romance|
|Good If You Like|
|Isn’t For You If You|
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Yesterday Plot Summary
For over 10 years, Jack has tried to make it big as a musician and Ellie, a friend since middle school, has been by his side, his biggest fan, and even his manager for some time. However, one day, as a blackout sweeps the entire Earth, for reasons never revealed, many entertainment icons and well-known products disappear. Oasis, the band, is gone. Coca-Cola no longer exists. Harry Potter is non-existent. However, the biggest lost, per the movie, is The Beatles.
Now, this isn’t to say they are all dead, but for reasons also never revealed, they never got into music. Thus, in this new timeline, Jack goes from a teacher turned musician, whose music never took off, to a world-renowned star. However, between the lie which has allowed success to the woman he never valued as she wanted to be, so comes the question if Jack could live and thrive in what’s to come.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- There is one really great moment, within the last half hour, which might make you cry and is perhaps the best thing about the rewritten timeline of the movie.
While many know The Beatles, and their music continues to be used in commercials and as background music for shows and movies, the music is rarely put center stage on this level. So, even if covers, to hear Patel sing each song and remind you of the ones you love and maybe some you may not know, it is bliss. Especially since it seems we more so can get films covering their music than an actual biopic.
On The Fence
The Jack & Ellie Romance Gets Uncomfortable After A While
At the heart of the film is Jack & Ellie’s romance and while it begins with potential, the possibility of becoming cute, that can’t be said later on. For after repeatedly feeling like a second choice, thinking she is never good enough, being friend zoned, and so much more, Ellie moves on. Which is when it finally clicks in Jack’s mind he is letting a good woman go. And mind you, when he decides actually to pursue her and be with her, she has legit moved on – she is dating someone else.
Making it so, when he uses his star power to try and win her over, while it isn’t a disgusting act, for you see the intention was supposed to be romantic, it is inappropriate. Leading to a shift from them being awkward but adorable friends, to something a bit harder to get behind. For now, he is disrespecting her current relationship, creating a really embarrassing situation for her, and with the internet being what it is, making it so she is pressured to do what he wants.
Thus destroying what could have been a cute story about two childhood crushes, or him just being happy she found someone who recognized her worth from the get-go, to something that, if you over think it, is uncomfortable.
Yesterday Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
Yesterday relies on two things: The first being its audience loving The Beatles and second thing being they can get past Jack using his fame to pressure Ellie to break up with her boyfriend and be with him. For you, it may succeed in both. However, I’d submit while The Beatles music, legacy, and name recognition is used well, the romance sputters. Hence the mixed label for there is just something about Ellie doing so much for Jack, bending over backwards and supporting him like no one else that makes the lack of reciprocity hard to ignore. Much less him only taking her being gone serious when he physically sees her with another man.