Yesterday Review

by: Sadie Dodds

Drawing by illustrator Priscilla Castro Sanchez

I was incredibly scared as I sat down to watch the Beatles-centered rom-com “Yesterday.” Only a few hours earlier I had been ecstatic, singing Beatles songs and discussing with my friends what we’d do if suddenly we were the only ones who could remember something. That was all ruined when Andre, the counselor taking us to the movie, told us what his film majoring friends’ had thought about it. Apparently, in their minds, the movie had next-to-nothing to do with the Beatles and whoever made the trailer had just decided to focus on that. 

I was crushed. I had been looking forward to this movie since the release of the first trailer. Not to mention, all of my excitement relied on my love of the Beatles and what their role would play in this movie. 

As I sat down in the theater to watch this movie, I frantically tried to convince myself that I didn’t care as much as I actually did. However, my increasing feeling of dread didn’t go away.

I know now that I had no reason to worry.

The movie was exactly how I anticipated it. Beautiful settings, fun British accents, an incredible soundtrack, an emotional arc, and a cheesy but adorable romance. I left the movie the opposite of how I entered: smiling, singing, and skipping.

Though I can’t lie, this movie wasn’t Oscar-worthy, it was relatively predictable.

Jack’s arc has definitely been done before. At the beginning of the movie, he is simply a nobody musician playing Beatles covers to empty bars and festivals. One day he gets into a bike crash and wakes up the only person who can remember the Beatles. Since he’s the only one who knows these songs, he gets famous for “creating” them. However, this fame eventually goes to his head. Because of this, he ends up losing the only thing he truly cared about, his best friend Ellie. In the end, of course, he learns his lesson. Jack makes a grand gesture, releases all of the Beatles songs for free to the world, and wins Ellie’s heart back.

“Yesterday” followed a very classic rom-com trope. The main character, Jack (Himesh Patel) and his best friend/manager, Ellie (Lily James) are childhood best friends. Throughout the beginning of the movie there are hints that the character’s relationship could be so much more; mainly for the reason that it’s a rom-com. Abruptly and out of nowhere, they fall in love. It was all very sudden from the audience’s perspective. From the beginning of the movie, I was sure that they would be together, but I always assumed it would be Jack falling for Ellie. Having Ellie be the one to come to the connection first came a little out of left field.

Despite its shortcomings, this movie is perfect for what it is. Yes, it is cheesy and predictable, but that’s the point. The reason cliche movies and arcs can be so popular is the fact that they are well made, resonate with us, and give us what we want. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and anyone who has a love for classic rock music and cliche romances would too.

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