What an idea!
What if no one in the world had ever heard of The Beatles or any of their songs…except for you. That’s the premise of the new movie Yesterday.
Now suppose you were a pretty good guitar player & singer and had the entire Beatles Songbook to use as if you’d written those songs. How popular could you become? That’s what we’re going to find out in the movie. Here’s the trailer:
Yesterday is a romantic comedy. It appears to be in good hands, including British screenwriter Richard Curtis who is known for Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and About Time. Plus, it’s directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle.
The stars of the film are Himesh Patel (from the British TV series EastEnders), Lilly James (from Cinderella, many other movies & Downton Abbey), Kate McKennon (from Saturday Night Live), and Ed Sheeran (from many hit songs).
It’s interesting what Beatles songs they put in the trailer. Featured are “Yesterday”, “Let It Be”, “Hey Jude”, “Something”, and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. That’s a good start on the best known song catalog in history. Imagine how much the music rights cost!
Since this is a romantic comedy, we don’t want to take the premise too seriously, but it does make you think about why The Beatles remain so popular. It’s the quality of their songs. The Beatles’ haircuts, British accents, and Rock & Roll energy may have helped create Beatlemania, but it was their amazing songwriting that kept them popular, and keeps them musically relevant.
Yesterday is set to open June 28th. The trailer certainly makes it look like fun. We don’t know whether the main character, Jack, is in a coma dreaming, is in an alternate universe, or whatever else it might be, but the movie should provide some needed escapism from the real world.
Update: There was no legal reason for The Beatles to approve the movie (except for song rights), but Ringo Starr has already seen “Yesterday”…according to the L.A. Times.