Movie Review

That Thing You Do

Reviewed by: Marcus Mann
STAFF WRITER

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens and Adults
Genre:
Drama/Comedy
Length:
107 min.
PG

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, Ethan Embry, Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi / Director: Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks stars and directs himself to another movie hit. There seems to be no end to Hank’s talent as he cleverly spins the tale of a rock band’s overnight success. “The Wonders” go from playing ballads in their garage to having a song in the top 10 in just a few short months. The band’s manager, and Play-tone exec., Mr. White (Tom Hanks) teaches them the ropes in the rock-n-roll days of the early ’60s.

Audiences will find very few things about this movie that they don’t like. With fewer than a handful of vulgarities, and no nudity or violence, this show truly earned it’s PG-rating. From start to finish you will enjoy the drama, warmth and humor of this motion picture. Whether or not you like 60’s style “rock-n-roll” music, you are sure to enjoy the behind the scenes look at how the music industry worked in its infancy.

One point that was particularly intriguing was the movie’s portrayal of the early ’60s. You cannot help but leave the theater stunned by the moral decline of the past 30 years. This film vividly portrays a time when singers were still “nice boys” and innocence could still be found in youth.

Year of Release—1996

Viewer Comments
My wife dragged me to this movie kicking and screaming all the way because I thought it would be just another “Clueless” type movie. Boy, was I wrong. Not a shread of filth in this movie and one week later we still laugh about it. It is refreshing to know that Hollywood can still put out a clean and entertaining movie…
—Bryan Johnson, age 26
Tom Hanks has risen to new heights in writing and directing a believable, charming social snapshot of the 60’s in small town America. The most miniscule set details (vacumn cleaners, tv trays, shop front signs, and endless knick knacks) were a delight to recall. The casting of the top three characters especially Faye) was no less than brilliant. The addition of Hanks himself as an unflappably good-natured agent was a bonus as he (effortlessly) guided the group into the world of professional music. Top that with a catchy tune and a satisfying ending and you have a keeper!
—Kay O'Hara, age 39
This was a awesome movie! It was very entertaining and great to take a date to because I didn’t have to worry about the content. Very refreshing!
—Rustin Comer, age 18
I graduated from high school in 1966 and was in the favorite band of our small town (my high school even gave us a full page in the year book our senior year!). This movie (except for us not having a hit) was nostalgia city for me. The song “That Thing You Do” was pure ’60s stuff—could have been done by the Beatles. I immediately went and bought the CD. I saw the movie with my 15 year-old daughter and it gave her some insight into the dark ages that Dad grew up in. Recommended!
—William Kruidenier, age 48
I left the movie feeling really good. I have a sister that graduated from high school in 1964 and I remember all of the bands, dancing, and music of that wonderful era. Life was truly good! Maybe because I was a child and just didn’t know better!! The movie is not really very interesting to small children, but at least it’s not offensive. I give it a thumbs up!!!
—Ginger Evans, age 39
Two words mentioned in prior reviews that I agree with stick out: nostalgic and clean. However, I would add: too many stereotypes. Having lived through that time period, I knew what the end would be. Therefore no suspense.
—Dave Storhaug, age 52