Last night I saw Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel and Lily James.
A world without The Beatles or Coca-Cola isn't a world I'd ever want to live in, but it's the warped reality that struggling English musician, Jack (Patel), experiences when he wakes from an accident. Jack was hit by a bus during a freak, 12-second worldwide blackout and seems to be the only person who remembers the most famous band that ever existed and the iconic soda.
Of course he doesn't have the formula for Coke, but he does remember a fair amount of The Beatles catalog of songs, so he begins to "write" them one-by-one and pass them off as his own. Of course, the world (again) loves them.
Side note: For those of us who are die-hard Beatles fans who absolutely hate covers of their songs, listening to him play their sacred hits throughout the film is as excruciating as you'd imagine.
By his side on his rise to fame is Ellie (James) who has known him since childhood and acts as his manager until he's recruited by a bigger fish, who arrives in the form of Kate McKinnon as Debra. She is a very welcome distraction, as is Ed Sheeran who portrays himself.
Although the film is marketed as this philosophical "what if" regarding the cultural shift that would happen if the band who influenced nearly every major rock act that came after them never happened, it's really just a mediocre romantic comedy about two people who don't have much chemistry and struggle to get past the friend zone. In fact, the film should have been called The Friend Zone.
As someone who counts Love Actually among the greatest rom coms of all time, I hoped that writer Richard Curtis would sprinkle his fairy dust on this couple as well, but instead all we got were a series of groan-worthy jokes (re-naming "Hey Jude" to "Hey Dude") and an odd twist at the end that contemplates what John Lennon would be doing today if he hadn't been murdered (for what it's worth, I don't think they even came close).
A film exploring an alternate Back to the Future-ish reality about how music would suck had rock 'n' roll never been blessed with John, Paul, George and Ringo? Now that would have been compelling.
Unfortunately, the greatest part of this film was the very end—when the real Beatles sing "Hey Jude" over the credits.