- Gareth Crook
I don’t know if this is a great film or if it’s just the great songs, but it’s very good. Yes it’s pretty silly, in a cheesy romcom fashion, but it’s fantasy, pure indulgent fantasy and boy is it fun. Jack gets hit by a bus during a 12 second worldwide blackout. It’s not explained why, that’s not the point, let’s not get technical, it’s fantasy remember. When he comes around in hospital, no one remembers The Beatles, no one except our struggling musician hero. It’s a bit random, but stick with it. Himesh Patel it has to be said does play and sing beautifully and for all the charm of this film, the highlights are clearly the musical interludes. That’s not to say there’s little else here, the cast is pretty impeccable and as instantly lovable as the songs. We get a few little jokes about Oasis and Coca-Cola not existing either and bit part Joel Fry threatens to steal the show on several occasions. Ed Sheeran’s fairly lengthy and reoccurring cameo is... well it’s cringey really, but still quite amusing. If only for the fact it highlights just how whimsically crap his music is. Alright putting him up against The Beatles is a touch unfair and he’s clearly having fun with it himself, having ‘Shape of You’ as his ringtone when Jack calls him. Of course the elephant in the room is that Jack’s rich seam of songwriting is all built on a lie. It all starts with a rollercoaster of excitement as Jack realises that fame and fortune are his, as long as he can remember all the words and figure out the chords. But as things begin to snowball and he’s schmoozed by intentionally repulsive American record executives, Jack moves further away from himself, his home and most notably Ellie, his friend, original manager and painfully obvious love interest. It’s all very sweet, quite generic and predicable with its happy ending, but it is entertaining and damn those songs are good!