HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  That Thing You Do! Top Of The Pops
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, DramaBuy from Amazon
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 5747 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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: