Released 06/28/2019 Rated: PG-13
I actually didn’t grow up listening to The Beatles. I heard a few of their hits that came on the radio; I can’t say I distinctly knew they were by The Beatles, but I know them. My husband is a fan, so I have been somewhat educated since then. Anyway, this movie caught our interest.
After a world-wide blackout–which incidentally also causes the accident that lands him in the hospital–Jack finds he’s the only person in the world who remembers anything about The Beatles. The band never formed, never creating the iconic songs that changed the history of music as we know it. So what’s a struggling musician who’s nearly run out of hope to do? Pass the songs off as his, of course!
Unfortunately this movie doesn’t focus on the music of The Beatles so much as it tries to hide the fact that it’s a love story with said music. It’s not about his struggle as an artist, or his rise to fame, or how the songs themselves are still as popular and unlike anything today as they were in the sixties. It’s ultimately about how Jack hasn’t figured out that he’s in love with his long-time friend and manager, Ellie, until it’s too late.
I wish it had been more about the music. Hell, I’d take having a few more full songs in there. (Not that the film was lacking or anything. It wasn’t.) I did love how even though Jack has been playing a few Beatles songs in his gigs before the blackout happens, he has to work at remembering a decade’s worth of music. He specifically struggles to remember the lyrics to “Eleanor Rigby.” This struggle is mostly in a montage, but I’m still glad it’s there.
The one thing neither of us cared for was everyone in the music industry’s attitude toward Jack. Kate McKinnon kept getting in Jack’s face because he’s making her so much money. Ed Sheeran’s gloomy mood when Jack surpasses his own musical talent during a song writing challenge after a show didn’t come off as funny. The challenge came from Ed coming off as egotistical. Everyone needing to inject their two cents like changing “Hey Jude” to “Hey Dude.” For a film that’s supposed to be about this iconic music, I felt as though the music got pushed back to an afterthought. Something ultimately felt as though it was missing.