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That Thing You Do! (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  4 October 1996 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 46,868 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 207 user | 72 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

 »
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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:

ITL 187,396,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 The Ed Sullivan Show: Episode #17.19 (1964), 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," Faye (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 »

Goofs

Scott Pell's right hand jumps around between shots when he meets the Wonders. See more »

Quotes

Phil Horace: [after the mantinee at Orpheum] Guy, I keep telling you, you are the drummer. The backbone, the timekeeper. You can't let a tepid reaction from one matinee house affect your dedication to the band.
Guy: I was playing like one of those little wind-up monkey toys. They booed us off the stage, Phil! Jimmy couldn't even hear how off-key he was.
Phil Horace: You're gonna get it all back tonight, I promise you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The bass player has no character name, he is only referred to as "The Bass Player," (and listed in the credits as T.B. Player). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jonas: That Ding You Do (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Spot
Written by Alphonse Mouzon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Refreshing Throwback
25 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember when I first saw this in the '90s and thinking, "Wow, what a shock: a modern-day movie with no no villains, no nasty people and nary a cuss word." I kept waiting for that stuff, and it never appeared. It also has a nice sentimental ending.

The story is a simple one about a group of average guys who form a band and become one-hit wonders.

Tom Everett Scott, a young Tom Hanks-lookalike, is an appealing lead and Liv Tyler looks very, very pretty in the female lead role. The band in this almost-old-fashioned musical, is good to hear, too. They are a throwback to the old movie musical days of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Yes, you hear the same song (the movie title) over and over but's a great song which is very catchy. The rest of the music is decent, too.

Speaking of Hanks, he plays the promoter of the group. It's not a huge part but Hanks, as always, is entertaining. The whole film is, and, is refreshing to see.


39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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