In mijn ogen de beste comedy auteur is de Brit Richard Curtis (foto Wikipedia), die vandaag zestig jaar wordt…
Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis werd geboren in Wellington (Nieuw-Zeeland) op 8 november 1956 en studeerde aan de Universiteit van Oxford. Hij is bekend geworden door scenario’s voor televisieseries als Blackadder en The Vicar of Dibley. Hij stond ook mede aan de basis van Mr. Bean. Daarna volgden scenario’s voor films als Four Weddings and a Funeral en Notting Hill. In 2003 regisseerde hij zijn eerste film, Love Actually, met veel bekende Engelse acteurs/actrices in de hoofdrollen (*). Daarna volgden nog Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Girl in the Café, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, The Boat That Rocked en About Time. In 2019 was er “Yesterday”, waarbij hij ervan uitging dat na een black-out niemand zich nog The Beatles – en later zal blijken: Oasis, Coca Cola, sigaretten en Harry Potter (**) – herinnert. Een mislukte singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) is de enige (later zullen er nog een paar uitzonderingen opduiken) en kan met de nummers van The Beatles dan ook zijn carrière opkrikken. Although screenwriter Richard Curtis asked for Paul McCartney’s approval of the title of the film (***), The Beatles had zero input creatively, outside of approving of their music being used in the film. Director Danny Boyle stated in interviews that the film was “blessed” by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison. Licensing The Beatles‘ music catalog proved to be relatively straightforward, since actors were performing the songs in the film and not the Beatles themselves.
(*) The word “actually” is spoken twenty-two times by various characters throughout this movie. (Internet Movie Database)
(**) One early concept was that the color purple was among the things that did not exist, with a casual reference to the band Deep Purple now being called “Deep Orange”. This idea was abandoned because it would be too much work to ensure no extras were wearing purple. In this parallel world John Lennon is also very much alive. Robert Carlyle of Full Monty fame is the uncredited John Lennon. The filmmakers and the actor made an agreement that they would keep the actor’s identity a secret out of respect for the life and memory of John Lennon. The fact that Jack meets an elderly John Lennon brings some very subtle nuance to the main plot. The movie bills itself as showing a world “where The Beatles do not exist”. This scenario could go one of two ways: either John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never even born in the first place, or they were born and did exist but simply never formed The Beatles. The scene with John Lennon makes it explicit that the filmmakers went with the second option.
(***) Paul gave his blessing, but also suggested they call it “Scrambled Eggs” instead. This was a lighthearted reference to the fact that before coming up with the lyrics for Yesterday, Paul McCartney had the temporary lyrics of Scrambled Eggs as a placeholder for the song. When Jack first performs “Yesterday,” his friends claim that it is not as good as Coldplay. Ed Sheeran’s role was originally meant for Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, who could not do it due to scheduling conflicts, so then it was offered to Sheeran. The joke was left in the script. (Internet Movie Database)