Montclair Review: ‘Yesterday’ Plays the Greatest Hits with Little Insight Into What Made Them Great

There’s perhaps no genre Danny Boyle can’t work within. On the opposite spectrum from his darker works, Yesterday is a flawed yet mostly effective light and fluffy departure, examining stardom in a post-Beatles world in which fledging alt-rocker Jack Malik (Hamish Patel) become the vessel for spreading love, joy, and sonic harmony. While the film provides the kind of comfortable formulaic delight that screenwriter Richard Curtis has built his 40-year career on, it’s not destined to be an oft-rewatchable gem like so many of his previous efforts, such as Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings and a Funeral–nor may it inspire younger viewers to revisit The Beatles catalog.

A survey of the greatest hits, it forgets what has made those hits so great despite cheeky references to Yellow Submarine and A Hard Day’s Night. If good lyrics were simply enough, many a bar
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