Man, I just wanted to punch this stupid movie in the face for nearly the entire time I was watching it—stupid-assed, stupid movie. Yesterday takes an interesting premise—“What would the world be like if the music of the Beatles didn’t exist?”—and totally squanders it. Danny Boyle (127 Hours, 28 Days Later) directs the straining saga of Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a wannabe musician working part-time in a grocery store while also busking on street corners and playing small solo gigs with his trusty guitar. Jack’s burgeoning music career is managed by Ellie (Lily James), who is fostering a decades-old crush on Jack while getting him gigs at closing hotels and side tents at music festivals. Riding his bike home from a gig, the world suffers a solar flare and a worldwide power loss, and Jack gets hit by a bus, knocking out a couple of his teeth and sending him to the hospital. Just before his accident, Jack swore to end his music career, probably a good idea because he totally sucks. Post-accident, Ellie and some friends give Jack a new guitar and suggest he bust out a song for them. He goes with “Yesterday” by the Beatles, and the group is moved, as if hearing the song for the first time. That’s because they are hearing it for the first time. A quick Google check by Jack confirms the impossible: Somehow, someway, Jack now lives in a parallel world where John, Paul, George and Ringo never came together to make music. So what does Jack do? Why, he plagiarizes the entire Beatles catalog, of course. Now, this act, stealing the music of the best group in rock history, is a grievous action, is it not? Only a true prick would steal music and try to pass it off as his own, right? Well, this is where the movie goes terribly wrong. Rather than exploring the dark side of plagiarism in a comedic way, Boyle’s movie begs you to love Jack—and to sympathize with him while he tries to figure out his romantic interest in Ellie. This results in a movie that is always uncomfortable to watch because Jack is nothing short of a total dick. Rather than crafting a film that seriously addresses a world without the Beatles, the movie becomes scared of itself and becomes nothing but a lame rom-com. An opportunity for some mind-bending dark comedy becomes nothing but an exercise in whether he will kiss her or not.