* * * 1/2 (Don)
Joyce * * *
(Quirky musical fantasy)
First of all, you have to buy into the fact that solar flares descended on Earth and caused everybody except Jack to forget that the Beatles ever existed. For some odd reason, they also don't remember cigarettes and Coke.
Since Joyce had trouble with that outlandish premise and she doesn't believe, as I do, that the Beatles were the greatest musical group to ever exist, she didn't like it quite as much as I did.
Jack (Himesh Patel) plays a down and nearly out singer/songwriter. At the moment the world lost all its electrical power, he is hit by a bus, ending up in the hospital missing his two front teeth but retaining his memory. Jack is managed by his childhood friend, Ellie (Lily James), who is madly in love with him but he is oblivious to her feelings. He sees Ellie as his best friend.
When Jack's songs are ignored, he performs the Beatles' "Yesterday" and for the first time is noticed as a singer/songwriter. More Beatles songs follow, and we are treated to a number of them as Jack becomes a big hit and is noticed by Ed Sheeran, playing himself, who brings him into his stable of songwriters.
Will Jack rise to fame and fortune?
Will his managers, including the money-hungry manager (Kate McKinnon), take complete advantage of him?
Will the world discover he's a fraud?
Will he discover his true feelings for Ellie?
Will everything turn out all right?
Hey, folks, this is a fantasy. Remember?
The movie is filled with British humor (Sheeran's rewriting of the "Hey Jude" title is classic) and except for one couple you can actually understand the accents.
Patel and Lily are lovable characters and McKinnon is the woman you love to hate. In one scene she tries to change Jack's frumpy image, oblivious of Sheeran's own frumpiness.
"Yesterday" is a silly movie that will charm you and take you away from the real world for a couple of hours.
Rated PG-13 with just a little profanity.