Two of Us (2000)

Film details

Synopsis

"Two of Us" is a tale of a specific time and place: The date is Saturday, April 24, 1976, and the place is New York City, John Lennon's adopted home. Paul McCartney is in town, playing a string of sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden in the midst of a smash worldwide tour with his band Wings, hot on the heels of his #1 album, "Wings at the Speed of Sound." Six years after the Beatles played their final notes together, promoters are offering them outlandish sums to reunite, and the air is filled with rampant speculation about its possibility. Amid the buzz, Paul's limo tools aimlessly through the streets of the city, and winds up at The Dakota.

While Lennon has also recorded numerous chart hits through the '70s, he is, in Paul's words, "not to be found," having virtually shut himself off to the world at large after years of well-publicized legal troubles and inner turmoil. Facing his former friend and colleague, Paul's trademark air of goodwill and nonchalance is at first belied by his nervousness as he proffers tickets to the Wings shows -- and tentatively brings up the subject of a Beatles reunion.

After his own shock of the moment, John reveals himself to be volatile as ever, at turns annoyed, mocking, warm, devilish, mystifying, playful, cruel, sincere, angry, hilarious, intense, insecure, combative and always unpredictable. "I'm out of the game, all right?" he glares. "From the time I was twenty-two, I've been under contract. My life has been ruled by somebody else. That's how long it's taken me to finally gain control over my own life, and nobody's gonna take it away from me."

But he's also intrigued and perhaps somewhat in need of Paul's visit. Disguising himself and Paul, John leads a stroll through Central Park, and they visit a café that is one of his safe havens in the neighborhood, despite the attentions paid by some fans along the way. Throughout the day, their painful past comes pouring out in severe recriminations, but their onetime closeness reasserts itself as well, and the two can't help but gleefully harmonize during an impromptu musical turn at John's famous white grand piano. "If you ask me, there's already more than enough pain in the world," says Paul, cutting to the heart of the matter. "I can't see why you'd want to go and make it worse...especially when you can go out and make music."

And later in the evening, after a "Saturday Night Live" skit pokes fun at the Beatles reunion offers, John and Paul prepare to deliver the musical shock of all time.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top