A Danny Boyle film about the Beatles? Could this be any more British? Well, probably not unless we see a cameo from the queen (But she’s too busy with her Corgis). But unlike a bastion of the world that some would have you think, this film ends up more of a post brexit rubble (Okay, not quite that bad).
Jack (Himesh Patel) is a wannabe pop star who sings in pubs with his guitar. However, his mundane lyrics and over reliance on power chords mean he’s never going to make in anywhere. That is until one day the power goes out and he gets hit by a bus. Upon waking up, he learns that nobody else remembers who the Beatles are. He then uses their songs to make himself a world wide music star.
Imagine there’s no Beatles, it isn’t hard to do
From here, the film really reads as a Beatles love in. Everyone becomes overly infatuated with this music. When Jack plays Yesterday, his friends are hypnotised. It upsets Ed Sheeran when Jack plays a song when they’re together, as Jack is so much better than he will ever be. It’s done to the point of absurdity. If you love the Beatles this is great. If you’re not so passionate, it comes across as too much. Jack takes the songs as gospel to. You’re not meant to take this film seriously. Cameos from Sheeran and James Corden (Boo, Hiss) add to this silly nature.
Alongside this love in, is your stereotypical rom-com. Jack’s friend Ellie, who is also his manager, should be his love interest. When he gets famous, we get such original moments as “Why didn’t we get together?” “Oh Jack, choose between your music career and me”. How cliche does it get? you may ask: Well, if you try to guess the Beatles song this film ends with, there is a 90% chance you’ll be right.
Yes, this film is rather corny, easy watching. But what made me really not enjoy it was just how unlikable Jack was. If not everybody was taking in every note of these sacred songs, they were basically the devil incarnate. By the end, I didn’t care about his career or relationship as he just moaned all the time. The comedy fell a bit flat. It was often easy, overly repeated gags. (“Oh my goodness you look like Ed Sheeran”). The best jokes I’d already seen in the trailer.
The last part of the film had a particularly problematic scene. Some people will appreciate it, but in my mind it devalued a character a bit and on the whole made it uneasy. (If you watch the film, you’ll know the scene.).
If you love the Beatles and want an easy, feel good rom-com, then this will be the film for you. I wish you all the best as you enjoy this. However, if you don’t believe that Paul, John, Ringo and the other ones are divine beings, you should probably ignore this film and just let it be. [Grade: D]