An almost sure sign of something inspired is if the elevator pitch is a single sentence. Die Hard: Terrorists take over a massive building on Christmas Eve, but they don’t know about the off-duty cop running around inside. Ocean’s 11: A bunch of cool, pretty-looking people team up for a heist. Pretty Woman: Only Richard Gere understands that Julia Roberts is extremely funny and attractive.
When elevator pitches click, you’re probably looking at gold.
The elevator pitch for Yesterday, the new movie from Slumdog Millionaire and Steve Jobs director Danny Boyle, is likewise a winner: What if a singer-songwriter woke up in a world where the Beatles never existed, but he still knows all their songs?
Check out this trailer. It blew us away.
Laughs? Check. Romance? Check. Dramatic staging? Check. Underdog narrative? Check. Yesterday looks like it has just about everything you could want in a movie. Best of all, the talent here looks like it can support the narrative hook.
Star Himesh Patel is an unknown stateside (fingers crossed, but hopefully not for long after this movie), but he’s been on the BBC’s long-running soap opera The Eastenders for years. Joining him is the radiant Lily James and guest appearances from the likes of Ed Sheeran and James Corden. Danny Boyle, the director, is no slouch either.
We have a few months to wait before Yesterday hits theaters June 28, but until then, we can delight in its wonderful premise and its terrific potential. Excuse us while we turn on The White Album. Who wrote this thing again?