And sure, I respect Paul McCartney--especially when he has the courage to make mistakes. And he does admit himself that he messed this particular film up in the book "Paul McCartney: 20 Years On His Own".
I expected the film to be lousy and all, and hoped for at least a few nice musical performances. And, of course, I've heard all the critics' comments about its general lousiness as well as the users' remarks on here.
So what was my take on it?
Well, after seeing it and thinking about all who have said, "Yeech! It's a BOMB!" and everything...
I disagree--in a way. Despite the boring and goofy plot, uninteresting situations and thorough silliness, "Give My Regards To Broad Street" isn't terrible: it's just pretty bad. There are enjoyable music selections here, and even some which are genuinely touching.
The entire opening medley showing Sir Paul performing "Yesterday/Here, There and Everywhere/Wanderlust" is wonderful, as is the smoothly gliding loveliness of "So Bad". It is during these sections when you see that Paul's film, as he had explained in the above-mentioned book, was originally intended to be simply a series of music videos shown on television.
However, a terrific version of "Silly Loves Songs"--which is arguably superior to the original--is ruined by the visuals that accompany it. It's not the fact that everyone is done up in elaborate makeup; I don't mind that. It's just that all they do is simply stand in place like statues, barely moving at all while playing their instruments as an annoying breakdancer moves around on the floor in front of them. What on earth McCartney was trying to accomplish here I have no idea.
One sequence which produces unintentional giggles here is the "Eleanor's Dream" sequence. That acting. Those goofy FAKE SIDEBURNS!
Even sillier is the ending: it makes no sense whatsoever in a thread plot that already makes next to no sense to begin with (it makes the likes of "Purple Rain" look positively brilliant scriptwise), and features the biggest unintentional guffaw in the film: a scene in which Paul imagines himself as a street performer.
Interestingly enough, though, there is one strange feeling that this film gave me, and believe me, I never thought Paul McCartney would ever give me this kind of reaction with anything: a powerful wash of 80s nostalgia! Paul is dressed here precisely in the sort of outfit that so many wore during the "Miami Vice" craze, and sports one of those poofy 80s haircuts...the exact same sort of look I personally sported during the time!...that alone brought back weird reminders of my least favourite decade. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's something I just thought I'd mention in case anyone's into that sort of stuff.
All things considered, though, I've seen far worse films than this. It still entertains because it works better as a music video collection than as a movie, and you won't be as disappointed as you might be if you simply treat it as such. If you dig McCartney and The Beatles, there are bound to be at least one or two sections you like in here. Somewhere. Whether or not you have the patience to sit through the whole thing in order to see what they are is up to you.
What this movie really needs the most is a DVD re-release. That way everybody can simply skip over to whichever sections they like best rather than having to constantly rewind/fastforward just to find them.