That Thing You Do! - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

That Thing You Do! Reviews

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November 6, 2016
My favorite movie of all time.
½ August 22, 2016
That Thing You Do! takes place in the '60's and is the story of a kid named Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works in his father's appliance shop, but plays the drums in his off time. After getting a gig to fill in for a drummer who got hurt, the band he's playing in, The Oneders, quickly takes off and becomes an overnight sensation after one hit song. As the viewer, you will witness way more highs than lows as the group's implosion isn't experienced until close to the end of the film. The downfall of the group, renamed The Wonders, is realistically quick and shows just how easy it is to become yesterday's news.

Movies with a lot of dancing and singing typically aren't my cup of tea, but it's not hard to win me over when the script is done well. There were plenty of funny moments that helped the movie hold my attention. As one of the announcers is about to bring them onto the stage, he can't seem to figure out their name as phonetically it looks like The Oh-Needers. The scene where the band hears their song on the radio for the first time is another especially fun moment. I could definitely see myself reacting the same way if something I poured my heart into made it to the masses.

The movie also succeeds at giving you likeable characters to root for. For the most part, everyone in the band is a good guy and you find yourself as the movie progresses hoping beyond hope that they continue to grow larger. You definitely get your wish in the long run, but we all know that fame comes at a cost. All four band members are developed well with their own respective drives fueling them to succeed. Guy just wants to make good music while T.B.'s goal is to kill time until his tour of service in the military. The characters are pretty consistent as they never deviate from what it is that they want.

While I'm two decades too late to have grown up in the '60's, That Thing You Do! does an excellent job of putting you right there. From the competing appliance stores with their box radios and tiny television sets to the teeny-bopper bandstand shows, these sweet touches incorporated not only suck you into the era but stick in your memory long after the movie is the over. While the film focuses on this one particular decade, Tom Hanks' performance as the fast-talking Mr. White was timeless. He was the glue that held the group together and helped maintain their forward progress. His acting was subtle, yet worked on a number of levels.

Yes, the movie was solid, but there were a handful of things that kept me from falling completely in love. At the risk of sounding like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth, I thought the ending was a little rushed. The Wonders are a group one minute...then two minutes later they fall apart. It isn't merely their breakup that was rushed, but I don't want to spoil the film anymore than I already have.

And that song. How many god-forsaken times must you play that song? Over and over and over...I completely understand that "That Thing You Do" is what helped them rise to stardom, but I feel like they made me listen to it twenty times in the first hour of the movie. Might not have actually been twenty, but it was enough to be more than noticeable.

I also docked a few points because the ending is somewhat predictable. It's like watching a fast ball: It's a good pitch though you can see it coming a mile away. All in all, not a bad movie for a family night. I give it a 75.
½ June 23, 2016
Genuinely love this movie. The cast does well with their characters (Steve Zahn is perfect as Lenny), the script focuses on the important points, and it is completely family friendly. While fairly predictable from the outset, it takes you on a fun journey with the band. The song is enjoyable enough to have made it onto our road trip playlist.
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2016
Band become big then split up. Nothing else happens.
½ May 17, 2016
Outstanding story line
April 21, 2016
Anyone who's ever been in a band has two film assignments: Spinal Tap and this. That Thing You Do is as catchy a movie as the title song itself. That title speaks to how people experiencing a sudden life-shift quickly figure out who they should be. Why hasn't Hanks matched this directing/writing effort? His control over this world is so apparent. Mostly, it's an immensely quotable bit of pop-perfection that does so little wrong and oh so much right (Zahn is so wonderful he raises the whole thing a star).
April 16, 2016
Very good movie and very good soundtrack!
April 13, 2016
I still enjoy watching this movie! I love 50's music....and I was born not too far from Erie Pa.....so maybe thats part of the reason why! :)
½ April 9, 2016
A pleasant period piece about a '60s rock band becoming famous. The title song is catchy too. (First and only viewing - 12/8/2014)
March 29, 2016
Overly entertaining, this is one for the kids and the adults. It's remembered fondly today.
½ February 3, 2016
One of my favorite movies. Highly re-watchable.
January 1, 2016
Really great movie with a lot of great storytelling and character. So many up and coming talent and Hanks really shows a skill for directing and screenwriting. I didn't expect to like this film so much and I can't express how much I liked this film, something with heart doesn't come along that often.
December 10, 2015
Its a nice period music piece that looks at the industry (sort of) in the mid 60s. The usual ups and downs of a band are in there as well as random relationship tidbits...most of which are not followed too deeply. I never really got that the focus was on the the band's talent or rise to fame or relationship with each other or dealing with the industry.....and so forth, because its focus is never cemented enough to learn something. A solid cast, nice music and a still entertaining enough look at a band from the 60's makes it worth watching...once.
November 21, 2015
While the story is thoroughly predictable, the characters and plot are admirably understated. You understand the characters' motives without stating the obvious, and the conflicts are realistic and never overblown. It is also a fun parody of boy-band mania from the '60s with wonderful production design.
August 20, 2015
Tom Hanks taking a shot on the director's chair at his directorial debut matches his natural acting talents made this a fun entertainment with catchy, foot-tapping tunes throughout. (B+)

(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
August 17, 2015
i really love this movie
½ August 12, 2015
Amazing show, never gets old
½ August 9, 2015
A very sharp,fun and simple rock comedy.
July 13, 2015
Great and fun film from my childhood. Still holds up!
July 3, 2015
They caught the mood, and the way it was perfect. And great song!!
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