That Thing You Do!  [DVD]
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In 1964, Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) joins his friends Jimmy and Lenny in their beat group, the Wonders. After playing at a pasta joint, they garner a local following, and are eventually offered a contract for a record and tour by Play-Tone Records' Mr White (Tom Hanks, who also writes and directs). As the band achieve pop stardom with their single, 'That Thing You Do', the pressures of success begin to take their toll.
Tom Hanks's debut as a writer and director is a lively, affectionate account of the shooting-star career of a forgotten (fictional) 1960s pop-rock band called The Wonders--as in "one-hit wonders". Hanks plays the manager of the group, which includes drummer Guy "Sticks" Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works the floor at his parents' appliance store in Erie, Pennsylvania; Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), the talented and temperamental lead singer and songwriter; Lenny (Steve Zahn), the goofy guitarist; and Ethan Embry as a geeky little fellow identified in the cast list only as "The Bass Player". The movie traces their meteoric rise and fall, from cutting their first record, to going on tour with a Phil Spector/Motown-type revue, to the internal tensions that lead to the band's disintegration, which comes when they fail to follow up their smash hit single, "That Thing You Do!" And that song, by the way, is so catchy it would definitely have been a hit in 1964--and deserves to be one today. This delightful movie would make a great double-bill with Allison Anders's wonderful Grace of My Heart. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm sure you know the story; if not, allow me. Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott, sporting the very same hairdo Hanks did in all of the above movies bar Gump) is drafted by the One-ders (pronounced as Oh-nee-ders by the marvelous Steve Zahn and just about everyone else) after their drummer breaks his arm actin' the lig. Much to Jimmy's (where-are-they-now candidate Johnathon Schaech) dismay he plays the band's one song much too fast come Talent Show night, and wouldn't you know, it becomes a hit. What follows is a brief brush with fame for the four members (plus an adorable Liv Tyler as Jimmy's put-upon girlfriend) before internal conflict tears things apart. Along the way Tom Hanks becomes their manager and changes their name to The Wonders. "That Thing You Do" proves to be their one hit.
It's an interesting plot but it's the way in which it's handled that makes the picture such a joy. Hanks' script is uncluttered, concise and at times absolutely hilarious. Much of the latter hilarity is delivered by Zahn, in my mind the major comedy star that never was.Read more ›
Some nice acting from several of the cast treats the audience as if they are capable of thinking for themselves, instead of being bluntly told what the director thinks is meant to be going on. Which is a rare compliment from some directors, so well done again Mr Hanks.
I don't agree with reviewers who call the film 'inconsequential' or 'simple' or imply it's a bit of fluff. It's made to look easy, but like writing a hit pop song, it requires a gift most don't have. If people knew the secret they would do it again and again.
Ironically, like the (one hit) Wonders, this film is Tom Hanks' one-off. And what a shame that is, or did he feel he didn't have another idea he wanted to work on as a director?
He pays attention to the characters and to the dialogue. An old-fashioned film in that way. It reminded me of American Graffiti, partly because of the themes, but also because it had some of the auteur spirit of American film directors from the 70's.
The boys look good in red and gold and black. Then they go home. They 'grow up'. Tom understands that, as Mr White, and as a Director.
Hope he does another film, but there has always been beauty in a one-hit wonder. Perfection, in any way that matters.
Here's the best bit - although the box says Region A the disc is in fact multi region so it plays fine on standard UK players, which is a blessing as this film is not available on blu ray in the UK as yet.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my 14 month old as he loves this film!!! Watches it almost everyday! Fast delivery!!Published 4 months ago by Sheree Farren
Fun movie! Tom Hanks is very good and the whole cast give it their all! Well worth watching, especially if you are interested in the music industry!Published 6 months ago by D
Bought this for Christmas for my son inlaw , it's a great film I like it and I know my son inlaw likes it..Published 9 months ago by mr tm peachey
Great characters and dialogue, superb original music. Makes you wish Tom Hanks had done more directing. One of my best feel good filmsPublished 11 months ago by Jonathan Cooper