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That Thing You Do!
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Reviews & Ratings for
That Thing You Do! More at IMDbPro »

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Index 213 reviews in total 

Great Fun

Author: George Attwood from Canada
24 July 2005

THAT THING YOU DO! **** Script-writer, director, and supporting star Tom Hanks takes us to the golden 1960s era when a local band in need of a drummer asks Tom Everett Scott to be a fill-in for a Saturday night gig at a high school prom. As the band's popularity increases, formed from their widely-liked single "That Thing You Do," the story takes them on a tour across the American coast where they expose their rock 'n' roll music to the world. Hanks sustains the film's momentum and entertainment through its entire running with his fresh, humorous script, solid direction, and comedic performance in the film. Nineteen-year-old Liv Tyler is terrific as the loyal girlfriend of band leader Johnathon Schaech who tags along for the ride. And viewers even get to hear a couple jazz numbers. I enjoyed every part of this film.

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Light, engaging, adorable; surprisingly, it holds up on 2nd viewing

8/10
Author: petyank from United States
5 July 2005

I understood why Hanks thought his ego had gone overboard when I first saw it. However, I liked it then and appreciate its subtleties as it passes by all these years later on cable. It has quite a few elements I missed the first time around because the song and the attention to '60s detail had me reliving my childhood. There is something irrepressibly elating about the affect the meteoric rise of the song has on young people from a somewhat remote town in PA. I wonder how many people my age daydreamed about something like that happening to them? And the scene when they first hear their song over the radio evokes memories of soaring joy on those rare occasions when something came out so right. The warning from Del Paxton to Guy about bands was nice scripting. I can't imagine it working as well if it had a more in-depth message.

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The essential American movie

10/10
Author: mikey_editor from Paris
23 June 2005

This movie has it all. Coming of age. A few plot swerves. Great American music. Young people in the fullness of life. I highly recommend it. There are so many positives here. The newness of some of the actors mix so well with established ones. There are almost too many cameos (including Rita Wilson) to catch. And Hanks works in so many old friends plus the record company he created for the movie now actually exists to carry all the soundtracks for his subsequent works. I like the music, all of it, from the featured tracks to the subtracks to the background noise of the other performers. The chronology is very believable as are the sets. The recreated hotel in LA matches everything you'd dream up. The bit with the beach movie (more cameos) is hilarious. You'll watch it to see what you missed the first time. Truly America in an innocent age.

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Flawlessly Done

8/10
Author: RNMorton from West Chester, Pa
7 May 2005

Wonderful execution of familiar story - innocent teens make big music hit, this one in the mid-60's during the British Invasion. Big leap, like as in high school talent show to Billboard charts. Scott and Tyler make the film, Scott as the smart and sensitive drummer, Tyler as the radiant squeeze of the band's lead man. Always nice to see Bill Cobbs, here as "legendary jazz great Del Paxton" - Cobbs has been in 65 films in the last 20 years, I know him as Orvis in The Color of Money ("Orvis, last time I saw you you were sweeping up in McGears"). It is nice that the group's song is catchy since you have to hear at least bits and pieces 10 or so times in the film. Watch for an early Theron as Scott's bored girlfriend. Nice resolution.

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Funny and Interesting

8/10
Author: mOVIemAN56
1 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Meet the O-Need-Ers. A one hit wonder band from Erie, Pa. Or are they the Wonders. A group of four mid-twenty year old musicians in Erie have written what they think is a good song. Jimmy (John Schaech), Guy (Tom Everett Scott), Lenny (Steve Zahn), and the Bass Player (Ethan Embry).

After their song, That Thing You Do! is heard by Mr. White (Tom Hanks) he signs them to Playtone Records and go on tour. From this they act in a movie, tour cross-country, have a no. single, and break up. The scenes are filled with humor from Zahn and are captivating and interesting.

The whole cast is good, even Liv Tyler who I usually don't like. Tom Hanks made the movie work with taking us through a U.S. for of the Beatles (minus the break up of The Wonders). the movie was a good watch and makes you laugh at some scenes and almost cry at others (actually not really but you feel pretty bad). The movie even holds some aspects of what the Beatles went through: their first single 'Please Please Me" was originally a ballet but sped up by Ringo Starr=Guy speeding up That Thing You Do!). Also, something to watch for is this is one of Academy Award Winners Charlize Theron's movies.

That thing You Do! Starring: Tom Everett Scott, Tom Hanks, Steve Zahn, John Schaech, Liv Tyler, and Ethan Embry. 4 out of 5 Stars.

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Now that's rock and roll

8/10
Author: gordodj2000 from london, ont
18 February 2005

What a joy to watch...over and over!! Though some of the events which occur once the band reaches the pinnacle of success (two members leaving so quickly, one for the army, one at a casino) seem highly unlikely and unbelievable, the development of the band, from talent competition winners to top of the chart hit makers, is one which anyone who loves music (and especially the effect the 60's had on rock and roll) can really appreciate. The title track is catchy and infectious, and Tom Everett Scott's reluctant acceptance of the leader's role is engaging and genuine. Even the subplots are interesting and not too intricate to follow. I highly recommend this film.

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Excellent!

9/10
Author: miken-3 (kataman1@verizon.net) from United States
27 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tom Hanks gives another brilliant performance, this time as a band manager for a fictional record company.

A group of small town teens from Erie Pennsylvania have an amazing sound and a catchy song that gets Hanks attention. He weans them along slowly while the lead singer thinks it is too slow. As their popularity grows (and they take the name The Wonders), the lead singer's patience wanes and he feels too big for his girlfriend (Liv Tyler), who has stood by him through the band's struggles to get to the top. As he pushes her away, she drifts more towards the band's drummer, who seems to be the most caring of the group.

The movie has an amazing scene where the drummer goes to a "jazz" club and meets his all time idol, who turns out to be a regular guy and not the prima donna that the Wonders' lead singer is.

Though the groups and the songs were made for the movie, they all sound like they could have been made in the 60's and would have been definite hits! I am surprised that this movie was not a mega-hit because it is really that good.

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I LOVE this movie!!!

9/10
Author: kirstymd from Vancouver, WA
9 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have probably seen this movie 30+ times and every time I see it on cable I can't help but tune in. It's just one of those movies that has so many moments that truly charm you.

I often consider myself a "movie snob", but this is one of those smaller, just-to-be-entertained-by films that rises above the rest.

Tom Hanks obviously thought out every detail of this period and it shows. Goes straight to the original music he selected; I even have the CD. As a side note, I love that he always uses actors he's worked with way past when, including Peter Scolari.

Best scene: Liv Tyler mailing the letters and hearing her boyfriend's group's single on the radio for the first time. The sheer delight on her face, and the way the scene ends up with the entire group getting to enjoy the moment is one of pure joy.

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Best music movie in years.

10/10
Author: AMANDA STEWART from United States
8 January 2005

As a huge fan of the Beatles and all rock n' roll movies, this is one that is constantly in my DVD player. Tom Hanks has his genius touch on this one!! Even though he wrote and directed and has a part in it, no vanity project here. It is sincere and real. You will find your self repeating some of the choice lines, especially from actor Steve Zahn. Even more surprising is that this movie can be watched without embarrassment with younger kids!! A-Mazing. Casting is perfect. Great supporting cast as well. There are nice little moments all through the film, that makes this project endearing and true. And you don't get sick of the title song!!

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SPOILER ALERT! A few things I didn't agree with

Author: Buzz (DaytonaBob) from Solvang, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
4 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First I LOVED this movie and probably have watched it close to two hundred times. No really I have. AND I own the DVD.

The movie is obviously a compendium of bands from the early to mid sixties that came to be known (and are still)as one hit wonders. One Trick Ponies is the other most used description.

From the opening shots and the opening music Hanks did a superb job of making us feel like we had been transported to 1964. My jaw about hit the ground.

The stores, the settings took me back to my days in Ohio not far from Erie PA in the same year. Scary actually.

The band comes together in a very logical way. Just a very good arc from Point A to Point B to Point C. The discovery of the band? Absolutely logical. Small time managers who sell the rights to their band to the upper echelons of music companies who can sell them further upwards as well. Play-Tone is, from the looks of the place, a mid-level to lower-upper level company. Not in the same league as Capitol but just below them.

The bit with the traveling bands was straight out of

"Dick Clark's Cavalcade of Stars" It was extremely well done and the way it really was. Very few bands could do the arenas and almost none could do stadiums. So State Fairs were the way to go(and still are if you really look around)

Where I started to lose the belief in the storyline was how T.B. Player(I love that)just bugged out on the band. The Marines would have been all over themselves to get into a taping of a show on the level of The Ed Sullivan Show.

Lenny was an actually talented guitar player and I find it difficult to believe he would leave the band in a lurch on recording day. Not believable at all.

In the year they are supposed to be in, the belief that bands had to do STRICTLY other people's stuff wasn't true any longer. The Wonders had shown they were capable of writing great stuff and Mr. White should have seen that and in real life would have. Play-Tone would have wanted to be cutting edge and compromised by allowing several songs they wanted and several songs the band wanted. The material they played on tour was good and Mr. White would have had enough clout to make it work. The band would have then been sent to open for big time bands like The Beach Boys who were on Arena tours at that point. I saw them at Cincinnatti Gardens with 4 opening acts.

THEN after a few more months and maybe the album doing poorly and the band starting to crumble under the weight of touring(which was a major point of breakups back then) I could see Lenny wanting to go someplace with no pressure and Saich wanting to go to the studio and Guy lusting after Faye who was back in Erie, and the Jazz life. THEN it would have made more sense. BUT I understand the shooting schedule and the need to wrap it up.

Just felt the ending didn't work.

Other than that I gave it a TEN.

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