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That Thing You Do!

4.6 out of 5 stars 680 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2007)
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(Jun 05, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Tom Hanks's debut as a writer and director is a lively, affectionate account of the shooting-star career of a forgotten (fictional) '60s pop-rock band called The Wonders--as in "one-hit wonders." Hanks plays the manager of the group, which includes drummer Guy "Sticks" Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works the floor at his parents' appliance store in Erie, Pennsylvania; Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), the talented and temperamental lead singer and songwriter; Lenny (Steve Zahn), the goofy guitarist; and Ethan Embry as a geeky little fellow identified in the cast list only as "The Bass Player." The movie traces their meteoric rise and fall, from cutting their first record, to going on tour with a Phil Spector/Motown-type revue, to the internal tensions that lead to the band's disintegration, which comes when they fail to follow up their smash hit single, "That Thing You Do!" And that song, by the way, is so catchy it would definitely have been a hit in 1964--and deserves to be one today. This delightful movie would make a great double-bill with Allison Anders's wonderful "Grace of My Heart". "--Jim Emerson"

Special Features

  • "The Making of That Thing You Do"
  • 2 Music Videos

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Bill Cobbs, Chris Ellis, Ethan Embry, Chris Isaak
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (680 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AVS8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "That Thing You Do!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Last week, I saw "That Thing You Do!" on one of the cable movie channels. I had not seen it for a while and had a couple of hours staring me down, so I sat back and watched it. The film itself is a nice piece of work by Mr. Hanks. He did himself proud. And that song! What a catchy, get-under-your-skin-in-your-brain pop tune!

Then, two days later, I was in Best Buy (humming That Thing You Do, by the way) and this new edition DVD appears before me unexpectedly, on sale. Without thinking, I bought it, took it home and I have watched it three times since (the theatrical release, once and the extended version, twice) and I will watch many times more.

This new release of That Thing You Do! underscores why "The Director's Cut" genre in DVD releases has become so invaluable to film aficionados like myself.

The theatrical version is priceless (still), but the "Director's Cut" is incredible and a major revelation. So many gaps in the plot have been filled in (gaps that I wasn't even aware of, so well put-together was the original version). This newer version has made the film a mini-masterpiece.

As in the original, the cast is excellent, the plot is believable and charming, the performances are funny, vibrant, true-to-life, and in this version, quite poignant.

Charlize Theron's character, Tina, and her relationship with Guy, in particular, suddenly become crucial elements to the early plot development (she is a minor character in the original version). Her character is fleshed-out, and she has one HYSTERICAL scene (in the dentist's chair) that caught me so off-guard with its humour, that I nearly choked to death with laughter!!

Even Tom Hanks character as the group's manager, Mr.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a delightful movie, probably unlike any you've ever seen. All the characters are so well balanced and adorable, and their story is so well told that it makes you feel it's a true story about real people. It's refreshing, sweet, entertaining and charming.
A group of friends puts together a music band and they record a song. The song gets on the radio and quickly climbs the music charts, making them an overnight success. Their unexpected and speedily growing fame puts their relationships, as well as individual integrity and self-respect, to the test. Troubles arise, and with them the characters show their true natures, good and bad, making their musical career as a rock group as brief and ephemeral as lightning.
But despite the obstacles the characters face, a few good things derive from them, new relationships are formed, old ones are strengthened, and all the characters make the choices that allow them to successfully follow their dreams after having lived through a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The score of the film is great and the songs are true to the style and the music of the sixties, which is the period in which the movie takes place. The clothing and sets are accurate and the characters are wonderfully adapted to the fads of the time. The writing, plot and dialogues are superbly well done (by Tom Hanks) and makes each and every character come alive, even those with just a few minutes of screen time. The cast is exquisitely chosen, including Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler and Tom Hanks, and their performances are natural and enjoyable.
This movie is a delight to watch time and again; each time you'll discover new details from the richly layered, yet realistic and simple personality of each character. A must-buy for anyone who likes a movie that tells a high-quality story through the eyes of interesting and refreshing characters.
--Reviewed by M. E. Volmar
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Format: DVD
My impression in watching this movie for the first time a few years ago is how Tom Hanks went to great lenghts to make you feel that this DID happen. (or could have happened).
The catchy tune of the same title plays like a classic. Along with the movie, check out the soundtrack and liner notes. (written by none other than Mr. A.M. White of Playtone records!) Interesting tidbits of information again form a very solid back story to this charming and funny movie.
Things like musicians last names come from Hanks' other favorite subject.. The space program. Starting with Wonders' members Lenny Haise & James Mattingly (they share last names with famous astronauts.. Fred Haise was part of the doomed Apollo 13 mission)
The theme song to "Mr. Downtown", a show about the exploits of one police sergeant named "Shakes" Lovell (probably named after Apollo 13 commander James Lovell) and the song "Voyage Around the Moon", a Ventures-ish surf rocker performed by the Saturn 5's, for a mulit-stage rocket used in the space program.
Hanks' gives impressive direction to a great cast. (Steve Zahn who plays Lenny just cracks me up every time) Every one did not only act very well in this movie, but made you really believe they could play. Tom Everett Scott who plays Guy Patterson, can play some mean drums!
This is a movie about friendship, individualism and honor.. set in simpler times... a must see!
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Format: DVD
Apparently the very-talented Tom Hanks is even more talented that we previously knew. Hanks has shown for some time that he is the closest modern actor to the late, great Jimmy Stewart in the superb naturalness of his acting in every movie genre from comedies to drama. But with this film he shows himself also to be a talented writer and director as well. The movie chronicles the rise and dissolution of a 1960's rock band which writes and records a single top-ten hit. Personally I've always wondered why so many early rock groups were one-hit-wonders. If a band is good enough to make one hit record, why isn't it capable of making several -- or at least a few -- more? The answer presented in this movie is that the one-hit Wonders self detruct due to a combination of ego conflicts, the pressures of success, and just the vagaries of circumstance. This movie could have been a mildly entertaining quasi-documentary. Instead, as written and directed by Hanks and played by the talented young cast he assembled -- the most outstanding of whom is Tom Everett Scott and Liv Tyler (who recently played the beautiful elf Arwen in The Lord of the Rings) -- this is a fun film from beginning to end. Frankly, I'm not much of a rock fan, but I loved this film. If you haven't seen it yet, please give yourself a treat and get this DVD.
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NOT "The Wonders"
I'm pretty sure they ended up changing their name sometime during the movie to The Wonders because of that mispronunciation.
Oct 9, 2012 by Nathan L. Baker |  See all 4 posts
What commentary track? There is none!
The official 20th Century Fox DVD site says that Disc 1 includes commentary by the actors. So WHERE IS IT?
May 16, 2007 by morgan1098 |  See all 3 posts
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