Across the Universe (2007) is a musical that uses Beatles songs to tell a love story in 1960s America as Vietnam and counterculture heat up.
I was introduced to the music of the film first on Oprah, so my impression was Jim Sturgess is a cutie-pie and the Beatles are best left to oldies radio stations.
See, like anything one hears all the freakin’ time, I had been blocking out the Beatles and hadn’t considered their songwriting ingenuity in a long time (not since watching Backbeat). I did enjoy the Beatles Night on American Idol cuz I could sing my heart out with Brooke White. But I never listen to my copy of Beatles: One and never felt it necessary to purchase a real album.
The film itself is very similar in style to Moulin Rouge (2001), even their British love struck leading men and provocative choreography (see the dance scenes of “I Want You/She’s so Heavy” in AU and “Roxanne” in MR).
The movie won me over for its inventive use of 1960s iconography and pop culture. Lennon and McCartney created songs that were both timely and timeless, which makes them the perfect match for this project.
The bottom line is Across the Universe is a solid musical set in the 1960s for a crowd watching forty years later.