Background on “That Thing You Do”
Released in 1996, “That Thing You Do!” is a delightful comedy-drama film directed by Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie follows the rise and fall of a one-hit wonder band known as “The Wonders” from Erie, Pennsylvania.
The film stars Tom Everett Scott as the talented but unassuming drummer, Guy Patterson. He joins the band when their regular drummer breaks his arm, and his incredible drumming skills propel them to success. The band members include lead vocalist Jimmy (played by Johnathon Schaech), bass player T.B. Player (Ethan Embry), and guitarist Lenny Haise (Steve Zahn). Together, they create a catchy hit song called “That Thing You Do!” that takes the radio airwaves by storm.
“That Thing You Do!” not only explores the dynamics within the band but also delves into the music industry’s fast-paced world in the 1960s. The film reveals the excitement and challenges that come with sudden fame, as The Wonders navigate their way through record deals, TV appearances, and adoring fans.
With its nostalgic portrayal of the ’60s music scene, “That Thing You Do!” captures the essence of the era, showcasing the vibrant fashion, catchy tunes, and the evolving music industry. It is a tribute to the power of music and the dreams that can be achieved when talent and opportunity collide.
The film received critical acclaim for its infectious charm, solid performances, and Hanks’ skillful direction. It was praised for its authenticity in capturing the era’s spirit, including its portrayal of the music industry and the challenges faced by aspiring musicians. “That Thing You Do!” also boasts a memorable soundtrack filled with catchy tunes that perfectly capture the sound and vibe of the ’60s.
As one of Tom Hanks’ early directorial efforts, “That Thing You Do!” showcases the actor’s talents beyond the screen. The film remains a beloved classic among fans and continues to be a favorite for its heartwarming story, great performances, and nostalgic soundtrack.
Overview of the Movie’s Plot
“That Thing You Do!” takes audiences on a captivating journey through the meteoric rise and eventual decline of The Wonders, a small-town band that achieves overnight fame. The story begins when Guy Patterson, an ordinary teenager with a passion for music, fills in as the drummer for The Wonders at a local talent show. Little do they know that this lucky break will launch them into the spotlight.
After winning the talent show with their infectious hit song, “That Thing You Do!”, The Wonders attract the attention of a local record promoter, Mr. White, played by Tom Hanks himself. Mr. White sees potential in the band and becomes their manager, taking them under his wing and setting them on a path to stardom.
As The Wonders’ popularity grows, they embark on a whirlwind journey that includes recording their song in a professional studio, landing a record deal, and going on a nationwide promotional tour. Along the way, the band experiences the euphoria of fame, encounters loyal fans, and revels in the excitement of performing on television shows.
However, success also brings its fair share of challenges and conflicts within the band. Jimmy, the lead vocalist, dreams of pursuing his own musical ambitions, while tension arises between Guy, the drummer, and the other band members who feel overshadowed by his talent. As egos clash and pressures mount, the unity of The Wonders begins to fracture.
Eventually, the relentless demands of the music industry take their toll on the band. Their hit song gradually fades from the radio waves, their record label loses interest, and their once-thriving career starts to crumble. The film explores the bittersweet reality of fame’s fleeting nature and the inevitable evolution of the music industry.
Despite their eventual breakup, “That Thing You Do!” leaves viewers with a sense of nostalgia and fondness for The Wonders and their brief but unforgettable rise to fame. The film ends on a hopeful note, showing that even though the band’s journey may have come to an end, the impact and memories of their one hit song will live on.
Through its captivating plot, “That Thing You Do!” offers a heartfelt exploration of the joys, challenges, and realities of chasing dreams, capturing the essence of a bygone era in the process.
Where to Watch “That Thing You Do”
If you’re eager to watch the charming and nostalgic film “That Thing You Do!”, you’ll be glad to know that there are several options available to enjoy this beloved classic.
One of the easiest ways to watch “That Thing You Do!” is through various streaming platforms. Popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video may offer the movie as part of their subscription libraries. These platforms provide convenient access to a wide range of movies, including this delightful gem from the ’90s.
For those who prefer a more traditional approach, you can also check your local cable or satellite TV listings. Networks like AMC or TCM occasionally feature “That Thing You Do!” in their programming lineup, especially during special movie events or theme nights.
If you’re interested in owning a physical copy of the movie, you can find “That Thing You Do!” on DVD or Blu-ray. Numerous retailers, both online and in-store, offer the film for purchase. It’s a great addition to any movie collection, allowing you to enjoy the charm and nostalgia of The Wonders anytime you like.
Another alternative is to explore digital rental options. Platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, or Vudu often have “That Thing You Do!” available for digital rental. This allows you to stream and watch the film for a limited time without making a full purchase.
Remember to check the availability of “That Thing You Do!” on different platforms as it may vary depending on your location and the licensing agreements in your country.
Regardless of how you choose to watch it, “That Thing You Do!” promises to entertain and transport you back to the ’60s with its engaging story, memorable performances, and infectious soundtrack.
How to Watch “That Thing You Do” on Streaming Platforms
If you’re looking to stream “That Thing You Do!” on popular platforms, here are some steps to help you get started:
Netflix: If you have a Netflix subscription, simply log in to your account and search for “That Thing You Do!” in the search bar. If it’s available in your region, you should be able to start streaming it immediately.
Hulu: For Hulu subscribers, search for “That Thing You Do!” in the search bar on the Hulu website or app. If it’s part of Hulu’s library, you can start streaming it right away. If it’s not currently available, keep an eye out for any updates or check periodically to see if it becomes available.
Amazon Prime Video: If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can stream “That Thing You Do!” by searching for it in the Prime Video section. You can use the search bar on the Amazon website or app to find the movie, and if it’s included with Prime, you’ll be able to start watching it immediately. If not, you may have the option to rent or purchase the digital copy.
Remember that streaming availability can vary by country and region, so it’s important to check the platforms and libraries available in your specific location. If you don’t have a subscription to any of these platforms, you may consider signing up for a free trial or exploring other options for watching the movie.
It’s also worth noting that streaming platforms occasionally update their libraries, so if “That Thing You Do!” is not currently available, you can keep an eye out for any announcements or check back in the future to see if it becomes available to stream.
Streaming services provide a convenient and flexible way to watch movies, allowing you to enjoy “That Thing You Do!” from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.
How to Rent or Purchase “That Thing You Do”
If you want to rent or purchase “That Thing You Do!” to watch it on your own time, here are a few options for obtaining a copy:
Online Retailers: Visit popular online retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, or Walmart, and search for “That Thing You Do!” in their movie section. You can choose between DVD or Blu-ray formats, depending on your preference. Simply add it to your cart and proceed to checkout to purchase a physical copy that will be shipped to your address.
Digital Rental: Platforms like iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu offer the option to rent “That Thing You Do!” digitally. Visit the respective website or app, search for the movie, and select the rental option. This allows you to stream the film for a limited time period, usually 24 to 48 hours, for a lower cost compared to purchasing.
Digital Purchase: If you prefer to own a digital copy of the movie, these same platforms offer the option to purchase “That Thing You Do!” digitally. Look for the purchase option on the platform of your choice, add it to your library, and you’ll be able to stream it whenever you want. Digital purchases provide the convenience of instant access without requiring physical storage space.
When renting or purchasing digitally, make sure to consider whether you want standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) quality, as well as any specific platform requirements or compatibility with your devices.
Before making a purchase, compare prices and availability from various retailers or platforms to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Additionally, check customer reviews and ratings to ensure a trustworthy purchase from reliable sources.
By renting or purchasing “That Thing You Do!”, you can not only enjoy the film at your own convenience but also have the flexibility to watch it on different devices and revisit it whenever the nostalgia strikes.
Possible Alternatives if “That Thing You Do” is Not Available
If you find that “That Thing You Do!” is currently unavailable on your preferred streaming platforms or for purchase, don’t worry! There are still plenty of other films and TV shows with a similar charm and nostalgic appeal that you can consider watching instead. Here are some possible alternatives:
Music-Based Films: If you enjoy films centered around music and the music industry, you could explore other movies in this genre. Classics like “Almost Famous,” “Empire Records,” or “High Fidelity” offer compelling stories with great soundtracks that capture the spirit of different music eras.
Coming-of-Age Stories: “That Thing You Do!” beautifully captures the coming-of-age experience in the context of the music industry. If you’re drawn to stories about self-discovery and growth, you might enjoy films like “Stand by Me,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” or “Dazed and Confused,” which capture the essence of growing up.
Period Dramas: If you’re particularly interested in the ’60s setting of “That Thing You Do!”, consider exploring other period dramas that transport you to different time periods. Films like “American Graffiti,” “Nowhere Boy,” or the “Back to the Future” trilogy offer a nostalgic and immersive experience in various eras.
Tom Hanks’ Filmography: If you’re a fan of Tom Hanks, the director and writer of “That Thing You Do!”, consider exploring other films from his extensive filmography. Classics like “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away,” or “Big” showcase Hanks’ versatility and talent as an actor.
Independent Music Scene: If you’re interested in the music industry and the rise of indie bands, movies like “Once,” “Sing Street,” or “Begin Again” offer heartfelt stories and captivating music that echo the themes and passion of “That Thing You Do!”
Remember, while “That Thing You Do!” is a unique and beloved film, there is no shortage of other stories and movies that can provide a similar nostalgic and entertaining experience. Take the opportunity to explore different genres and eras, and you might discover new favorites along the way.
Whether you’re in the mood for music, coming-of-age tales, or simply want to dive into Tom Hanks’ filmography, these alternatives can fill the void and provide enjoyable viewing experiences, even if “That Thing You Do!” isn’t readily available.
Tips for a Better Viewing Experience
To fully immerse yourself in the delightful world of “That Thing You Do!” and enhance your viewing experience, here are some tips to make the most of your time with the film:
Create a ’60s Atmosphere: Set the mood by creating a ’60s-inspired ambiance in your viewing space. Dim the lights, grab some vintage snacks, and play some classic tunes from the era to transport yourself back to the time when the movie is set.
Pay Attention to the Soundtrack: The soundtrack of “That Thing You Do!” is a highlight of the film, capturing the spirit of the ’60s with its catchy tunes. Listen closely to the music throughout the movie and let the infectious melodies enhance your enjoyment of the story.
Appreciate the Acting: Take the time to appreciate the performances of the talented cast. Notice the chemistry among the band members and the nuances in their acting that bring the characters to life. Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Mr. White is especially noteworthy, so pay close attention to his comedic timing and charisma.
Embrace the Nostalgia: “That Thing You Do!” is a nostalgic tribute to the ’60s music scene. Allow yourself to be swept away by the magic of the era, from the fashion to the slang. Embrace the nostalgia and let it add an extra layer of enjoyment to your viewing experience.
Pay Attention to the Production Design: Notice the attention to detail in the production design, which brings the ’60s setting to life. Take note of the costumes, set designs, and props that transport you back in time. Appreciate the authentic recreation of the era and how it adds to the overall visual appeal of the film.
By following these tips, you can create an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience that allows you to fully appreciate the charm and nostalgia of “That Thing You Do!”. So, get ready to tap your feet to the catchy tunes, laugh along with the lovable characters, and be transported to a bygone era of music and dreams.
Interesting Facts and Behind-the-Scenes Trivia
Behind the making of “That Thing You Do!” lies a treasure trove of fascinating facts and behind-the-scenes trivia that add depth to the film’s production and its impact on pop culture. Here are some interesting tidbits to enhance your appreciation of this beloved classic:
The song “That Thing You Do!” was written by Adam Schlesinger, who was in the band Fountains of Wayne. The catchy tune earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
The recognizable dance moves performed by The Wonders during their TV appearances were inspired by the Beatles’ iconic performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Tom Hanks, in addition to directing the film and playing the role of Mr. White, also wrote the screenplay. His love for ’60s music and his own experiences as a teenager during that era influenced the authentic portrayal of the time period.
The film marked the feature film directorial debut of Tom Hanks, showcasing his talents behind the camera in addition to his acting prowess. His expertise in storytelling and attention to detail shines through in every scene.
The Wonders’ bass player, T.B. Player, was named as an homage to the bassist for The Who, John Entwistle, whose nickname was “The Ox.”
Tom Everett Scott, who played the drummer Guy Patterson, had to learn to mimic drumming for the film. Although his drumming scenes were expertly edited, he did undergo training to look convincing as a skilled drummer.
The film’s distinctive retro look was achieved through meticulous costume and set designs. The clothing, hairstyles, and props were all carefully chosen to create an authentic ’60s aesthetic.
During one emotional scene in the film, Ethan Embry, who played bass player T.B. Player, was genuinely moved to tears. His emotional reaction was unplanned and added a genuine touch to the scene, which was ultimately kept in the final cut.
“That Thing You Do!” enjoyed modest success at the box office, but it gained a cult following over the years, solidifying its place as a beloved and timeless film.
The title of the film, “That Thing You Do!,” reflects the infectious nature of the song and the band’s rise to fame. The phrase “That Thing You Do!” becomes synonymous with the magic and excitement of achieving success in the music industry.
These intriguing facts and behind-the-scenes trivia offer a glimpse into the creative process behind “That Thing You Do!” and highlight the attention to detail that went into capturing the spirit of the ’60s. They add another layer of appreciation for the film’s enduring charm and its lasting impact on audiences.
Reviews and Reactions to “That Thing You Do”
Upon its release in 1996, “That Thing You Do!” received generally positive reviews from critics and garnered a warm reception from audiences. The film was praised for its nostalgic charm, infectious music, and endearing performances. Here’s a roundup of some notable reviews and reactions to this delightful comedy-drama:
Critics’ Acclaim: Critics praised Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, commending his ability to capture the spirit of the ’60s music scene and deliver a heartwarming story. The film’s lighthearted tone and memorable soundtrack were widely appreciated. The performances of the ensemble cast, particularly Tom Everett Scott, were also highly praised for their authenticity and charisma.
Audience Reactions: Audiences were captivated by the film’s nostalgic appeal and its ability to transport them back to the ’60s. Many found themselves humming along to the catchy tunes and rooting for The Wonders as they embarked on their journey to fame. The film’s relatable characters and wholesome storyline resonated with viewers of all ages, evoking a sense of joy and nostalgia.
Timelessness of the Film: Over the years, “That Thing You Do!” has gained a strong cult following and remains a beloved classic. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to its universal themes, memorable characters, and its ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era. Fans appreciate its feel-good nature and the way it captures the excitement and challenges of pursuing dreams in the music industry.
Impact on Pop Culture: The film’s infectious hit song, “That Thing You Do!”, became a pop culture phenomenon, earning radio play and chart success in the real world. The recognizable tune captured the essence of the ’60s music scene and became synonymous with the film’s positive and buoyant spirit.
Legacy as a Cult Classic: “That Thing You Do!” continues to be celebrated for its timeless appeal and its ability to transport audiences to a simpler and more nostalgic time. It is often included in lists of must-watch feel-good movies and is cherished by fans for its infectious energy, memorable performances, and toe-tapping soundtrack.
The warm reception and enduring popularity of “That Thing You Do!” reflect its status as a beloved cult classic. Its ability to evoke a sense of joy, capture the essence of the ’60s music scene, and tell a heartfelt story has ensured its place in the hearts of audiences across generations.