Picks and Pans Review: John and Yoko

updated 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/02/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Mon., Dec. 2, 8 p.m. ET)


I was one of those Beatles fans who didn't like Yoko Ono. Her voice sounded like an eagle being goosed and she, I was sure, helped break up the boys. Then I grew up and Yoko didn't bother me anymore. Until now. This self-serving movie, made with Ono's advice and consent, paints her as some guru of goodness and an underappreciated artiste—hard to take again—while Lennon is filled with faults: boozing, drugging, womanizing, commercializing. Ono is made even less appealing by Kim (St. Elsewhere) Miyori's limp portrayal. But Mark McGann does just the opposite for Lennon. This newcomer from Liverpool succeeds at much more than trying to look and sound like Lennon; McGann brings as much respect and affection to the part as the script will allow. But John and Yoko is about more than their love story. It's about music. The movie shows you how some great songs were born: I Want You was John's love song to Yoko; You Never Give Me Your Money came during John and Paul's final feuds. I saw a long rough cut, so I didn't hear how all 32 songs—most in their original recordings—are treated. But I saw enough to know that the music and McGann's performance are good reasons—although the only ones—to watch John and Yoko.

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