HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  That Thing You Do! Top Of The PopsBuy this film here.
Year: 1996
Director: Tom Hanks
Stars: Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Johnathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry, Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron, Obba Babatundé, Giovanni Ribisi, Chris Ellis, Alex Rocco, Bill Cobbs, Peter Scolari, Rita Wilson, Chris Isaak, Kevin Pollak, Clint Howard, Marc McClure
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) works in his father's electrical store, though what he really wants to be is a drummer, just like his jazz heroes. There's not much chance of that while he stays in small town America, but one day opportunity knocks when his friends form their own pop band to play at a local talent show. Their regular drummer breaks his arm, so Guy is drafted in to replace him, and on the night they play Jimmy (Johnathan Scaech) the lead singer and guitarist's composition, "That Thing You Do!", only Guy picks up the tempo and what do you know? It's kind of catchy...

For his first film as writer and director Tom Hanks went back to his childhood and picked a subject close to his heart, the popular music scene of the early-to-mid sixties, just as the Beatles were arriving to change the landscape forever, but before the peace and drugs movement took hold of the consciousness of American youth. For that reason, a cursory glance at That Thing You Do! might register a lightweight nostalgia piece (there's even an exclamation mark in the title) and nothing more, but it had hidden depths.

The four members of the One-ders, as they call themselves thanks to Jimmy's girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler), follow the band archetypes, with Jimmy the pretentious songwriter, Guy the smart one, guitarist Lenny (Steve Zahn) the funny one and the nameless bass player (Ethan Embry) the quiet one. As their key song works up local interest, although they have trouble pronouncing their name ("The Oh-Nee-ders!"), soon they have a manager - who lives in a camper van, so they haven't hit the big time yet.

Hanks shows how long it takes to make an overnight success, and despite the affection for the era he shows, he is under no illusions about the business. He appears as the band's next manager, Mr White, a big shot with a national label who guides them, now renamed the easier to remember Wonders, to success. But all they really have going for them is that one song, written in real life by Fountains of Wayne man Adam Schlesinger as a breezy pop ditty that has a ring of authenticity: you can imagine it being a hit in the sixties parallel world the film depicts.

All the music is well crafted, although you don't hear any more than a minute of most of it. The attention to detail is admirable throughout, but it's the relationships that are the film's strongest suit, while still ending up a minor liability. We can see from the start that the arrogant Jimmy doesn't deserve the angelic Faye and she and Guy were meant to be together, but it takes the whole movie for them to realise it. It's also something of a cliché that Guy shows the most integrity because he's into jazz, but for every scene that might have you rolling your eyes at how cheesy it is, the film recovers stylishly with a quip from the excellent Zahn, or a recreation of a Beach Party flick or a televised variety show. It's more bittersweet than it might seem on the surface, and for that has a true charm. Music by Howard Shore.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4572 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: