6.9/10
50,714
212 user 72 critic

That Thing You Do! (1996)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A Pennsylvania band scores a hit in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as it can, with lots of help from its manager.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,419 ( 127)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson
Splash (1984)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy
The Money Pit (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young couple struggles to repair a hopelessly dilapidated house.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Alexander Godunov
Apollo 13 (1995)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A recently widowed man's son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger
The 'Burbs (1989)
Comedy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An overstressed suburbanite and two of his neighbors struggle to prove their paranoid theory that the new family on the block are part of a murderous cult.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bruce Dern, Carrie Fisher
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A soon-to-be-married man's friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party.

Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed
Dragnet (1987)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

Director: Tom Mankiewicz
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live.

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Stars: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The employees of an independent music store learn about each other as they try anything to stop the store being absorbed by a large chain.

Director: Allan Moyle
Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar, Maxwell Caulfield
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lamarr
...
Chad
...
...
Sol Siler
...
...
Troy Chesterfield
...
...
Uncle Bob
Edit

Storyline

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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

band | pennsylvania | song | jazz | drummer | See All (50) »

Taglines:

In every life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Eso que tú haces!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,208,595 (USA) (4 October 1996)

Gross:

$25,809,813 (USA) (24 January 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The story of the Wonders continued in the liner notes of the film's soundtrack album. It was revealed that following the group's appearance on the "Hollywood Television Showcase", "That Thing You Do!" rose to #2 in "Billboard". Jimmy's career with the Heardsmen was also detailed a little further, indicating that they recorded "I Need You (That Thing You Do)" and "She Knows It", the songs heard over the movie's end credits. The liner notes are attributed to A.M. White (as in Mr. White), who supposedly later became president of the Playtone label. See more »

Goofs

Lenny does not miss his cue at Villipiano's on "All My Dreams", he is making reference to the loud airplane flying over "the spaghetti place out by the airport" that they have gotten their first gig at. See more »

Quotes

Phil Horace: I've found that a hit record is like a stew. All the ingredients have to come together just right. Otherwise, it's just soup.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Soundtrack released on the fictional Play-tone records. See more »

Connections

References Bonanza (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Downtown
Written by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Mike Piccirillo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Hoot; comes very, very close to being a great movie
24 July 2004 | by (Taichung, Taiwan) – See all my reviews

I didn't see That Thing You Do (TTYD) when it came out, and it's too bad. This movie will--strange to think--rank up there with "Stop Making Sense" as a classic concert film. Interesting that 1) they're not really comparable, since SMS is real concert footage and TTYD is a mockumentary, and 2) Jonathon Demme is in TTYD!

Is this a timeless movie? Close. Darn close. What's great? Actually--almost enlightening--Hanks' writing is really quite wonderful. The dialog is almost a rare example of direct, effective, "connecting" film writing. The casting, directing, and acting is great. The editing is very effective. The sets, costumes, general "look" is a delight. The music is very, very effective. So much subtle craftsmanship goes into stuff at the right levels of detail, that you might accuse the film of failing to be like a genuine "rock 'n' roll experience" because it's almost too crafty. But I think they pull it off.

What's wrong with the movie? Not much. The ending flags a little. The pre-credits posting of thumbnail future bios of the characters is a cheap device; but again I think it doesn't eclipse the power of the mythic payload (the moral) which ultimately has to do with the power of love. And I don't say that in a wishy-washy sense. What is love? According to this movie, it's that multi-dimensional experience which includes not just finding "that special someone," but also finding your path. It reminds me of an exchange I had with a work buddy who hoped to write "that big hit tune" and retire early. I loaned him a record by Fred Frith, which put him off entirely. "This guy won't ever get anywhere," he said. But I patiently explained that he (my friend) and I get up in the morning and go to our corporate jobs. This guy (Frith) gets up and goes to the studio. Who's the success? That's a big life lesson, and I think this movie nuances that very effectively. It can even translate to any of life's pursuits, not just music.

I found myself being continuously delighted by this film. At the risk of sounding like a green ass, I want to plug this film's attention to a time-honored aesthetic virtue: Hard work. This film is a labor of love, with equal attention to the inspiration AND perspiration.

I can't believe how much I like this movie! I feel like a bobbysoxer saying it! I resonated with this movie on many points. Let me give you one example. I was in a little band once and was something of the "muse" of that band. Something I always marveled at was how "the creative process" people talk about is actually a very simple and practical reality when you're actually being creative. One of the sweet, simple high points of working up a number is the act of picking the tempo. If you've ever done this, you know what I'm talking about. Picking the tempo is a profoundly rewarding act, and of course that's just one small aspect of the process. So the scene near the beginning of the flick where the drummer overrules Jimmy and establishes an uptempo beat to what was supposed to be a ballad is a profoundly resonant moment for me. And the direction and editing bring together an almost perfect picture of the very real and profound joy that this brings to people.

There were many, many moments in this movie that affected me in much the same way. If you haven't seen it and you love "concert films," check it out.

(NOTE: I wrote a little "trip guide" to TTYD!, which can be found at: http://www.ronazajac.com/That_Thing_You_Do_Comments.pdf . Hope you find it useful. -raz)


54 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What is your favorite scene? Rendmigiryggen
Dance With Me Tonight... snoochberries
Worst moments of Jimmy daugava
Colin Hanks mysay-97-581086
One of the best redskinny
The waitress!!! lichnost99
Discuss That Thing You Do! (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?