After a hard day’s night of gigging, singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) cycles home to his parents (Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal) in Clacton-on-Sea.
He collides with a bus during a 12-second blackout when a nasty bout of pop-culture amnesia ripples across the universe, erasing all memory of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Jack regains consciousness in hospital and discovers no-one – except for him – remembers The Beatles.
With a little help from his friends Ellie (Lily James), Lucy (Ellise Chappell), Nick (Harry Michell) and Rocky (Joel Fry), Jack becomes a viral sensation by passing off The Beatles’ back catalogue as his own words of love.
Ed Sheeran (playing himself) becomes a mentor – “You’re Mozart, I’m Salieri!” – as Jack courts superstardom with the backing of cut-throat American agent Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon).
Yesterday is a sweet, heartfelt romantic comedy that fails to make me want to twist and shout.
However, Richard Curtis’ script is oddly light on laughs and gutpunch emotion. At no point did I feel sufficiently invested in Jack to root for him on his magical mystery tour to second-hand fame and fortune.
Sheeran has a blast in a supporting role, poking fun at himself, but you can see the on-screen heavy lifting from McKinnon and Fry as they graft for giggles.
Himesh Patel as Jack Malik, in a scene with Ed Sheeran, playing himself