That Thing You Do!

Film

Musicals

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Time Out says

The year's 1964, and young Guy (Hanks-lookalike Scott) is drafted in to play drums with a rock'n'roll high school band. One catchy tune transforms the One-ders into local heroes, and brings them to the attention of first regional, then national talent scouts, until 'The Wonders' find themselves with a Top Ten hit and a record contract. Their progress is uncomplicated, if not exactly quick. Hanks is such a nice guy, he can't bring himself to imagine anyone who isn't, which tends to preclude anything so base as dramatic conflict. Episodes of Happy Days have more narrative tension. The nearest we get to a bad guy is Schaech as the group's career-driven singer-songwriter: the artist. Love-interest Tyler gets to mouth lyrics in the wings; when things hot up, she catches a cold. As writer/director, Hanks recreates the period with nostalgic affection, in pastel shades and design straight from a retro catalogue, but his film shows no interest in the musical process, and the title track is reprised ad nauseam (eight times!). Sweet nothing, then, but what would you expect of a rock movie devoted to the drummer?
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Release details

UK release:

1996

Duration:

108 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Tom Hanks

Cast:

Ethan Embry, Steve Zahn, Johnathon Schaech, Liv Tyler, Tom Everett Scott, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson

Music:

Howard Shore

Production Designer:

Victor Kempster

Editor:

Richard Chew

Cinematography:

Tak Fujimoto

Screenwriter:

Tom Hanks

Producer:

Edward Saxon, Jonathan Demme, Gary Goetzman

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