All You Need is Love

Across the Universe brings The Beatles music to life. Much like Mamma Mia!, the movie is a jukebox musical that uses over 33 Beatles songs incorporated into the story. The difference is Across the Universe was never a stage production. Even though director Julie Taymor got her start in theater. Across the Universe would’ve honestly made more sense on Broadway, because there are so many songs jammed into a 2 hour & 13 minute movie. Across the Universe bombed hard at the box-office and I have no memory of it coming out.

Characters are loosely tied together, underdeveloped, and their story is very standard. Across the Universe takes place in the 1960’s during Vietnam with characters named after Beatles songs. Jim Sturgess plays Jude from Liverpool, Evan Rachel Wood plays Lucy from America, and Joe Anderson plays her brother Max. Jude falls for Lucy and Max tries to avoid being drafted. They’re joined by a Bohemian assortment of hippies including T.V. Carpio as closet lesbian Prudence, Dana Fuchs as sexy singer Sadie, and Martin Luther McCoy as the Hendrix-like Jo-Jo.

Plus cameos from Bono, Eddie Izzard, Joe Cocker, and even Salma Hayek. They’re all pretty aimless and free-loving, but they do protest the war. Everything else is centered around musical performances. Some renditions are great and others can’t compare to the original. “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” works as a draft song, but “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” doesn’t work as a somber coming out song. One thing Taymor gets right are the trippy and often psychedelic visuals. Across the Universe honors the legacy of The Beatles, but it could’ve used more work.

Across the Universe

Hippies sing “Because”

6 thoughts on “All You Need is Love

  1. This is such the perfect closer to the Beatles Vacation here! I found this movie and The Beatles in high school, and actually painted some scenes from it. Not the greatest musical, and the characters are so… caricature. But I love the music.

    Liked by 1 person

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