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Quick Review - Universal's Yesterday

Yesterday, everyone knew the Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He's about to become a very big deal.

Yesterday is a 2019 musical fantasy romantic comedy drama film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Richard Curtis, produced by Perfect World Pictures, Working Title Films, Decibel Films, and Dentsu Inc., and distributed by Universal Pictures. It stars Hamish Patel and Lily James. It was not nominated for any Academy Awards.

"Do you genuinely not know who the Beatles are?" - Jack Malik


Struggling musician Jack Malik is given the miracle of all miracles when the entire world forgets the Beatles except for him. Now, Jack must balance the life he once knew with the fame he's about to experience.

Yesterday: Quick Thoughts

This movie is interesting, because I did like it...but I found it unwatchable for the first two-thirds. I thought that the plot was clunky. None of the characters were likable. The dialogue and direction were atrocious. It was a complete and utter mess that actually came together to give you a sweet and happy ending.

I think that it does a good job of wrapping up all of the story's messy plotlines. There's a lot going on in this movie, which is another thing that weighs it down, so I was impressed when it actually pulled all of the plotlines together and gave them satisfying conclusions. That's the biggest praise for the movie. It's all over the place, but it manages to stick to the landing, which is impressive.

However, I think my problems with Yesterday start with the main character. Jack Malik is not a likable protagonist. He's a jerk. Every single thing he does makes you like him less...and less...and less (until the end). He has a quiet sense of humor that's supposed to be funny, but it's not. He's just cruel. He's cruel to his friends and family and has no ability to smile or enjoy anything. He's always frowning and complaining. And it's hard to enjoy a character like that.

I also found it strange that Yesterday chose to focus on a romance at the center of the movie instead of the interesting main premise. The world forgetting the Beatles is kind of a background plot point. It's the reason that everything in the film is happening, but it isn't really the main story. Obviously, it's an interesting concept, but when you exchange that for a romance template that we've seen a thousand times, it becomes significantly less interesting.

Overall, Yesterday is a pretty mixed bag. I've been more negative than positive in this review, but I felt like I had to explain my negatives much more than my positives, so I did like it more than this review is letting on.

Final Thoughts and Score

Yesterday's unexplored main concept, director, and main character make it hard to completely enjoy the film, but it will win you over by the end with a satisfying wrap on everything the movie has set up.

I will go Savory here. Age range is 8+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


Directed by Danny Boyle

Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements

Released on June 28, 2019

1 hour and 56 minutes

Himesh Patel as Jack Malik

Lily James as Ellie Appleton

Joel Fry as Rocky

Ed Sheeran as Ed Sheeran

Kate McKinnon as Debra Hammer

Sanjeev Bhaskar as Jed Malik

Meera Syal as Sheila Malik

Harry Michell as Nick

Sophia di Martino as Carol

Alexander Arnold as Gavin

Sarah Lancashire as Liz

Justin Edwards as Leo


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