I’m a sucker for good coming of age movies, and for music history movies, and this is another one, like Almost Famous that is directly in my wheelhouse.
This movie tells the story of the fictional one hit wonder band known as the Wonders (originally the Oneders—not pronounced Oh-needers by the way) who go from obscurity to overnight sensation with the success of the very catchy (and thank goodness it was a good song since we hear it over and over again in this movie) tune that shares its title with the movie itself.
Tom Everett Scott plays the main protagonist here and “the brains”, the shades wearing drummer who changes that thing you do from a dull ballad to the rocking Billboard hit with one spontaneous performance.
Johnathon Schaech plays “the talent” the leader of The One-ders, rhythm guitar and lead vocalist. Steve Zahn plays the jokester of the group and has quite a few good quips.
Tom Hanks, who also directs, plays the manager who gets them out of the small dive clubs and onto the 1860 fairground touring circuit, and eventually onto network television.
Liv Tyler plays the “Yoko Ono” part in this movie, although she is of course much prettier and more sympathetic (no offense meant to the real Yoko) and has been with the band since its inception as the put upon girlfriend of the lead singer.
This movie is filled with great music and a unique look into a historical era that many, myself included, wish they could have experienced first hand.
That Thing You Do gets a four out of five: GREAT.