I truly don't get all the hate for this song. Cheesy, probably but there's nothing wrong with some cheese from time to time and the melody is stunning. It's the perfect feel-good ballad. And it's much better than the other duet with Paul McCartney, Say Say Say.
No if Paul McCartney wasn't on this song then it would be appreciated more. Both MJ and Mr. Real-reason-the-Beatles-broke-up on the same song would not live up to insane expectations. May not be the best on the album but a great song nevertheless.
If it was someone else singing this, you'd more readily see it for the bad song that it is. It's the one song on "Thriller" that keeps the album from being my #1 favorite Michael Jackson album. My #1? It'll always be "Off The Wall". That one is perfect; no duds.