The movie poster sums up the premise: yesterday everyone knew the Beatles. Today, only aspiring musician Jack Malik remembers their songs. What does that mean about fame, art, and what does it say about pop-culture? Every year or two (or three) a movie comes along that hits all the right notes for me (pun intended), this was one of those movies. I went in only vaguely hearing about it, and fell in love with the film. It's not that deep, fairly predictable, syrupy and even clichéd in a few parts.... but it just the right tone, twists, and characters. I walked out feeling better that finally something that came out of Hollywood this year that didn't feel derivative or a sequel... even if It was a throwback film that borrowed from a dozen movies/books before: it still felt like an up-to-date sleeper film of the year.
Reviews were mixed because it was familiar and simple. And they're not wrong. But then every action film is as well, and many people love those. Familiarity can be a warm comforter on a blustery winters evening. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 63/89 (reviewer/viewer) score, and again, I side with the viewers. If you look at it as art, it was shallow and derivative. You had the stoner roady, the slimy Hollywood exec, the clueless family, the girl in waiting, and forgettable friends, and a lot of open plot holes. But if you looked at it for the story and escapism and the Beatles music, it was wonderful. Ed Sheeran even did a passable job as a pop-star and actor. I kid. While I didn't really know him by name, I did some listening and recognized some of his songs, and he definitely seems to have talent as both.
There are going to be a lot bigger films of 2019 (both already released and to-be-released) that I feel like I need to see to be "up" on pop culture. And there are certainly more epic films. But in 5 years, I feel like if you ask me about Avengers: Endgame, I'll remember it as, "some people did something". It was big, epic, lots of fighting... and I bought my Iron Man Kona right before it came out. But not much more than that. But I'll snapshot on lots more parts of this Film and remember this kid remaking the Beatles music... and the line that the world is a lot better place with them having been in it. Just like this little tribute movie.