That Thing You Do! Reviews
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.
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)