That Thing You Do!

Tom Hanks directs this fun movie about the rise and fall of a fictional ‘60s rock band.  A good cast and a soundtrack full of pseudo-sixties hits highlight the film. I imagine the ‘60s were a lot like this, but with way more drugs and hippies.

Tom Everett Scott stars as Guy Patterson, a drummer who joins up with a local group called the Wonders for a talent show gig. He plays the wrong tempo, and their ballad becomes a catchy pop song that takes America by storm. The Wonders get a manager, a recording contract, a new different manager and go on tour. There are lots of parallels to the rise and fall of a little band called the Beatles.

Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, known for their song Stacy’s Mom, wrote the title song. It is catchy and gets stuck in your head, but you don’t get annoyed with hearing it fifty times throughout the movie. The majority of the songs heard in the film are written for the movie, but they capture the vibe of the ‘60s music scene.

Johnathon Schaech plays Jimmy, the lead singer of the Wonders. Liv Tyler has a supporting role as Faye, Jimmy’s girlfriend. Ethan Embry plays the unnamed bass player. The underused Steve Zahn plays Lenny the guitar player and provides comic relief.

The movie is fun, lighthearted, and entertaining. The soundtrack is original and nostalgic at the same time. It has a lot of heart and is rewatchable, two important attributes to making a classic movie. A few more years and this will be.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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