An American flyer who joined the RAF before his country was in the war is recovering from a leg injury in Jerusalem. Through an English friend he meets a quiet Jewish girl whose close-knit ... See full summary »
Recounts a fable of a pop rock band formed a year after the Beatles took America by storm in early 1964. Jazz aficionado Guy Patterson, unhappily toiling in the family appliance store, is recruited into the band the Oneders (later renamed the Wonders) after regular drummer Chad breaks his arm. After Guy injects a four/four rock beat into lead singer Jimmy's ballad, the song's undeniable pop power flings the Wonders into a brief whirlwind of success, telling the tale of many American bands who attempted to grab the brass ring of rock and roll in the wake of the British Invasion. Written by
Rick Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Parallels with The Beatles: (1) Original band name (The Oneders) is a play on words involving music nomenclature (the Beatles). (2) First hit ("Please Please Me" for The Beatles) was a sped-up version of a slow ballad. (3) In The Beatles' first appearance on Ed Sullivan's show, a shot of John Lennon was accompanied by the caption, "Sorry Girls, He's Married". In this film it's Mattingly who's shown with the caption, "Careful Girls, He's Engaged" during their national TV debut. (4) Both acts first reached fame after replacing their original drummer. (5). Each group loses its original bass player (The Beatles' original bassist Stu Sutcliffe died and The Wonders' bassist joined the Marines. (6). Last-minute, temporary replacement: The Wonders' bassist had to be replaced after he disappeared; during part of The Beatles' 1964 world tour, drummer Jimmy Nicol had to sit in for Ringo Starr, who was undergoing an emergency tonsillectomy. (7) In the extended cut it's shown that the group's manager, Mr. White, has a boyfriend. The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, was also gay. (8) When The Wonders are running to their cars in Wisconsin to catch a plane to "the coast," Fay (Liv Tyler) gets mistaken for a female fan, and it stopped by the police from following the band. A similar incident happened when The Beatles were traveling to see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. While running to board a train, John Lennon's then wife, Cynthia Lennon, was stopped because she was mistaken for a female fan. Unlike the film's version, no one came back to retrieve Cynthia before the train left the station. (9) Before The Beatles struck fame in the UK, they were forced to change the drummer 'Pete Best' to Ringo Starr. Before getting their first fame (playing "That Thing You Do!" at the contest), the group was forced to replace the drummer Chad and Guy had to step in. See more »
No Wisconsin police department had cars with red and blue lights until the mid 1980s. See more »
That Thing You Do! In every life there becomes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.
That Thing You Do begins with a group of friends practising for their college talent show. Their band - the amusingly named One-ders win the contest with their catchy song - That Thing You Do. But this is only the beginning of their success story. In a blur, the newly renamed Wonders become a hit - playing at their local clubs, and then moving on to a national tour with Playtone records under the guidance of Mr White (Tom Hanks) The beauty of the film is there is no conflict, just the excitement and exhilaration that the band feels as they become celebrities and this is can't be shown better than in the scene where they first hear their song on the radio and they are literally dancing in the street, you can't help but feel happy for them too. Tom Everett Scott plays the charming Guy Patterson - the electrical store assistant who becomes the band's drummer and a national sex symbol with his trademark sunglasses. Lenny (Steve Zahn) is the carefree guitarist who sees the bands success as a huge lark and just throws himself into enjoying every day. Jimmy (James) Mattingly II is the band's creativity - writing the songs
and also its serious side. He sees the commercialisation of the wonders
as stifling his creativity and is reluctant to sign anything to do with his music. Liv Tyler is also a delight as Jimmy's girlfriend Faye and the band's biggest supporter. The success of That Thing You do lies in the little things that are so easy to miss yet are the glue that brings the whole film together. Watch out for how well Guy's family react to his success and how the bands first drummer with the broken arm keeps turning up. Also notice how it is Guy that keeps looking out for Faye. It is these little things that will bring you to the film and that find you leaving with a smile and a desire to see it again.
31 of 41 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?