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That Thing You Do!
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That Thing You Do! More at IMDbPro »

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"Looks like the O-neders"

Author: Aaron Kennedy ( from USA
21 July 2004

This is my most favorite movie of all time! Not only is the writing and acting phenomenal, but it's got wonderful (excuse the pun) music too. Tom Hanks did an amazing job with this screenplay. The characters are well developed (except for the bass player, he didn't even have a name!)and aptly portrayed on screen. Tom Everette Scott gives amazing life to the Jazz lovin' character of Guy "shades" Patterson. A role many critics saw as a role Hanks himself would have played 15 or 20 years ago.

Liv Tyler is beautiful in her portrayal as Faye, the girlfriend of James Mattingly (Johnathan Schaech) the talented, but somewhat self-indulged, narcissistic lead singer. Steve Zahn is just hilarious as Lenny, the goofball, womanizer who can't get a date, guitar player. In my opinion he has the funniest lines in the movie. And pretty much steals whatever scene he is in. Tom Hanks of course is fantastic as the bands manager (c'mon when isn't he fantastic?) Then There's Ehtan Embery who gives startling empathy to T.B. Player (The bass player). A some what "dim bulb" who joins the marines right before the wonders hit it big, and disappears right before the bands appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. This is the one part of the movie I didn't understand. Why was the bass player given no name. as one point in the movie Tom Hanks says "Where's your bass player" he doesn't even no his name, no one does for that matter, interesting. I wonder if that was a conscious choice, or something that just "evolved" Nonetheless, this movie is a superb slice of Americana from the early 60's. Great writing, superb acting, wonderful music; if it doesn't make you want to run out and join a band, I don't know what will.

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This is a pretty good movie

Author: crowrobot
17 June 2004

Tom Hanks makes an impressive writing-and-directorial debut with 'That Thing You Do!', a musical comedy/drama set in the 60's about a one-hit wonder band called, appropriately, The Wonders. Tom Hanks is also in the movie, as Mr. White, the manager of the band. Overall, this is light-hearted, peppy, upbeat, and humorous. Hanks does here what he does best: comedy/drama. Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson, makes a small cameo in the film. The acting is solid, the title song is great, and the script is good. Tom Everett Scott plays the main character, Guy Patterson, the drummer of the band. Liv Tyler, pre-Lord of the Rings, is also good here. And Steve Zahn is very good at being a dummy. Overall, this is a good movie.

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Liv Tyler is fantastic!

Author: ambritner from Rotterdam, the Netherlands
11 May 2004

Just watched this movie for the third time on tv. I think Liv Tyler is stunning, sweet, and fantastic in this film. She has such a unique quality...any criticism of her is absolutely unfounded. Probably just jealous. I'm a straight chic, by the way, so my judgement is not clouded. I just think she lights up the screen. The movie would be boring without her, though, so I can see why you'd not like it if you didn't like her. Although I can't see why you wouldn't; for me, she makes any movie watchable. I love the scenes with her in the coffeeshop of the Ambassador Hotel (now, of course, the Beverly Hills Hotel). I think she fits the aesthetic perfectly.

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great film about music

Author: (frodolives) from Wellington NZ
16 January 2004

Cool feelgood film which offers quite a realistic portrayal of the music biz - and what it takes to succeed in the business. Which makes it very different from being just a "I want to be a rock star" fantasy. Good acting, a more than decent screenplay and a very cool soundtrack help. Doesn't pretend to be more than it is, but very definitely worth watching! And a must-see for anyone thinking about being a professional musician, or get involved in the music business.

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Really funny

Author: FortiOz2freedom7 from Burbank CA
4 January 2004

One of the definitive movies of the 90's, touching, witty, and also very true in they way it portrayed rising sixties rock and roll and one hit "ONEDERS." Very sweet, and side splittingly funny, this movie really shines. The soundtrack is also amazing.

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"You're talking gibberish!"

Author: ashisthegal from Florida
20 December 2003

This movie just worked. I remember seeing this in the theater a few years ago and falling in love with Guy Patterson from Eerie, PA, as well as all the classic Wonder Songs.

This movie is about four boys from a little town in PA trying to make the big time. You have the handsome and talented lead singer Jimmy, the easy-going, yet totally charming Percussion player Guy (Shades!) the funny-in-a-dumbass way guitarist Lenny, and let us not forget the airheaded Bass Player. They start out in Jimmy's garage singing a slow ballad called That Thing You Do and decide its good enough to play in a contest. They are up on stage and all of a sudden Guy gets an idea and starts playing That Thing You Do a few notches too fast. The next thing you know you have a up-tempo 50's classic which makes these boys rich and famous, even if its only for a little while.

This movie is all about living in the moment. It also gives the audience a little taste of what its like in the Music World, and how some people would do anything to get their fifteen minutes of fame. In the end, The Wonders are no more, but they are remembered, and the result is a beautiful love story. 10/10

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Great tunes, great movie, one flaw...

Author: Bryan Hargrave from Las Vegas
2 December 2003

"That Thing You Do" is one of those feel-good movies I can watch again and again. The music carries the film. I must confess to being a big Fountains of Wayne fan from their beginnings, and they do not disappoint here with jaunty tunes that sound period without being smarmy.

A balanced cast headed by Tom Everett Scott makes most scenes enjoyable. Steve Zahn is well used here as the off the wall, Lenny. Hanks is understated as Mr. White, but I think this enhances his dark-ish, calculating character. A fair representation of the recording industry.

The movie is nearly ruined by Liv Tyler, over acting as usual. She's a drain to watch as always, killing the pace of the movie, and not in sync with the rest of the cast.

Bill Cobb as Del Paxton, is a delight, as is Tom Hanks' wife, Rita Wilson as waitress in Marguerite. The bar scene is outstanding.

Watch this one to brighten up a rainy day. Get ready to tap your toes and enjoy! 8/10

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Tom Hanks Does It Again...

Author: tim (Movies_are_my_life_and_Thats_sad) from New York
16 September 2003

Once again Tom Hanks writes and directs a stimulating movie. Its the story of a 50/60's rock band and their quick climb to the top of the billboards. Brilliant character portrayals by Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Liv Tyler, and Ethan Embry (whose character lacks a name. I always believed this was a joke at the expense of bass players all over. The lack of name is a joke at the thankless job that is being a bassplayer... can you name the bass player of your favorite band?). Although, there are many talented actors one stands out among the others as far as humor goes, and that is Steve Zahn. You may have seen him in the under appreciated film "Saving Silverman" with Jack Black. The blend of good music and dry humor makes this movie one that I had to own (Which means its pretty damn good). but I won't promise you'll make it through the movie without seeing Tom Hank's wife, Rita Wilson in a small unnecesary role.

~Tim ....Great movie....

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Enjoyable Movie

Author: goleafs84 from Seattle, Washington
9 September 2003

This was a very enjoyable movie that I can watch over and over again.

Tom Hanks did a wonderful job writing and directing this movie. I liked how he cast a bunch of unknown and semi-star actors at the time, with the exception of Liv Tyler and Chris Isaak. Obviously, he made some good choices as most have moved on to bigger and better things.

This was a wonderful story of a local "garage band" go from being unknown and rise to the top. I liked how you heard "That Thing You Do" evolve from a slow ballad, to a raw song with lots of potential, to the smash hit rock song that it became.

Another thing I liked was, there wasn't a lot of "name dropping" in the movie, in terms of other bands, artists, etc, with the exception of Virgil "Gus" Grissolm and Gina Lollobrigda. It would've been easy to do so, but it wasn't done and the writing was good in the sense that they seemed believable.

A few bits of trivia from this movie: Some things you already know and some maybe you don't.

-The bass player (Ethan Embry) was never given a name. In the movie, he's referred as "the bass player" and in the end credits his name is T.B. Player.

-Tom Hanks' wife and 2 of his kids appear in this movie. Rita Wilson played Marguerite, the cocktail waitress in the jazz club, his son Colin was the page who escorted Liv Tyler when the Wonders appeared on the Hollywood Showcase and his daughter Elizabeth was the bored girl in the dress shop.

-Is it a coincedence that 2 of the main characters in this movie, Lenny Haise and Jimmy Mattingly, had the same last names as Fred Haise and Ken Mattingly from Tom Hanks' previous movie "Apollo 13"?

-The record label in this movie, "Play Tone" records and the logo is the name of Tom Hanks' production company.

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Great movie! Sweet

Author: Lee (leemi-1) from Delaware, United States
1 September 2003

I love this movie! This was is a movie I can sit down and watch with my children, and not be uncomfortable. The story line was cute, four nice, respectful young men and their band. Even though you know they are fictitious, the updates at the end of this movie made you love and care about the characters even more each time you watch the movie.

You can't help but tap your feet to the great be-bop sounds of the 60's. It sounds so real for the era you can't stop thinking, "How come I don't remember those songs?"

I could really relate to Faye, as a female being associated with the band. What memories and emotions were brought back to me. First as a child with my girlfriend's older brother and his band. Then as a groupie for the neighborhood band in the early '70s. I can still vividly remember sitting on the neighbor's basement steps watching and listening as the band practiced. I loved being one of their groupies. We shared in their successes and their disappointments.

I highly recommend this for the whole family.

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