A ride through the music-making machine with a wholesome, mid-sixties one-hit-wonder. For years I thought I'd hate it, based on trailers and tone alone, but was pleasantly surprised. The film's got some issues, no doubt - especially the horribly tacked-on, telegraphed romantic ending - but it's got a lot of soul and I actually started to like the little tribe of stereotypes as we spent more time together. The theme song is appropriately catchy, too, without being grating like a lot of the era's pop records. Which is important, because it plays no less than once every ten minutes. There's good stuff here, with a nice leading performance from (who?) Tom Everett Scott as the band's hip, friendly drummer, but it's also clearly a learning project for writer / director / supporting actor Tom Hanks. Could've been much better with a bit of a trim and a wilder fire burning behind the lens.