(director: Danny Boyle; screenwriters: story by Jack Barth/Richard Curtis; cinematographer: Christopher Ross; editor: Jon Harris; music: Daniel Pemberton; cast: Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), Lily James (Ellie), Kate McKinnon (Mandi), Joel Fry (Rocky), Ed Sheeran (Himself), James Corden (Himself), Ana de Armas (Roxanne); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Danny Boyle, Richard Curtis, Bernard Bellew, Matthew James Wilkinson, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan; Universal Pictures; 2019-UK)

The dumbest premise I encountered in eons.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The dumbest premise I encountered in eons. Danny Boyle (“Side by Side”/”The Beach”) directs this ludicrous sci-fi fantasy pic that heralds the Beatles. It’s based on a story by Jack Barth and is too cutely written by Richard Curtis. Struggling street musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) dwells in the tiny English seaside town of Lowestoft, where the warehouse worker’s dreams of fame for the last ten years are rapidly fading despite the support and love of his childhood best friend and manager, Ellie (Lily James). After a worldwide power outage that lasts for 12 seconds, Jack is hit by a bus while on his bike and wakes up in a hospital to discover that no one has ever heard of the Beatles. When he starts to play the band’s songs, like “Let It Be,” at cafes, he soon becomes a pop sensation all over the world. Though the Rolling Stones can be found on Google, the Beatles can’t. The same goes for Coke, while Pepsi can be found (that inference is too deep for me). Corny jokes and nonsense situations prevail, as Jack goes crazy performing Beatles songs on his way to fame and fortune. The ruthless talent manager Mandi (Kate McKinnon) replaces Ellie, and Jack’s career, singing Beatles songs no one is aware of, takes off. Maybe to like this sugary film you have to pretend you’re hearing the Beatles songs for the first time. Or maybe you just like wacky films.

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