"Where was I? Oh yeah, playing songs on my guitar."
How much was I smitten by this movie?Bunches.
I saw it at the theater twice, a rarity for me.
There's a band in Erie, Pennsylvania. Their drummer breaks his arm, and they're forced to get a replacement for a big talent show. The band, with new drummer in tow, play the talent show and rock the house, because the drummer plays the song (which is basically supposed to be a ballad) as an upbeat, happy song. The song becomes a local hit, and the band gets signed to a manager (who pulls up "in a really nice camper") and ultimately to a record deal. Then they go national, and gradually things start to fall apart.
It's a murderously catchy song (and thank goodness for that, because you hear probably 12 different incarnations of it by film's end) that propels the band, The Wonders, into the stratosphere, meaning a couple of guys get caught up in it all. It's on the strength of the one hit (one-hit Wonders, get it?) get signed to their deal, get a part in a beach movie, tour across the country, and make a national television appearance that not unintentionally resembles the Beatles' Ed Sullivan debut.
Written and directed by Tom Hanks (his first time in feature films), That Thing You Do! is basically a pretty light comedy. It's not going to stick with you a year from now. But it's actually a pretty charming comedy with bits of drama and az little romance. The young actors who play in the band (Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn, Jonathon Schaech and Ethan Embry) all fit their roles perfectly, and Liv Tyler (as Schaech's girlfriend) doesn't embarrass herself completely.
The songs will get stuck in your head. I can almost guarantee it. But it's worth it to see what is basically such a carefree, charming film.You have to love a movie where one of the lines is "Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters."