Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” is first and foremost a Richard Curtis movie — if you don’t know him, Curtis is an expert at writing romcoms which include “Love Actually,” “About Time” and “ “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”
With all that said, If the synopsis of “Yesterday” sounds like an absolute blast on-paper then, hate to say it, it doesn’t meet those expectations on-screen. By now you must have surely seen the ads; failing singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) wakes up one morning, only to learn that The Beatles never existed and, more importantly, their rich catalogue of songs his for the taking. He ends up being heralded as the guy who wrote “Let it Be,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and other such classics. It’s all set-up quite nicely, in fact, with Boyle’s energetic brand of stylized filmmaking.
However, problems arise in the film’s second act, which has our main protagonist chasing the girl of his dreams, his best friend since the age of seven, which puts The Beatles stuff on pause for mundane romance. Instead of expanding on the ingenious premise, Curtis decides to inject his movie with off-puttingly mawkish sentiment. It’s a missed opportunity which cannot even be saved by the great soundtrack. [C+]