LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - That Thing You Do!
Huh, this Tom Hanks fellow is pretty talented.
Written and Directed by Hanks, this sweet, simple film reminds us what a quality movie looks and feels like. OK, so it had a snappy little tune that can haunt you for days after you see the movie, and can cause you to catch yourself humming it in your sleep night after night after night ...This is not a message-movie, nor is it bubble-gum pink or overly nostalgic. It is a perfect story of success, failure, romance, music and a broken arm. It is a simple movie in that the plot is tight, the subplots are few, and the characters are unassuming.
Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) is good kid who works in his father's appliance store by day and covertly plays drums to jazz records by night. Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), lead singer and troubled talent, is the leader of the band who names itself the One-ders. Faye is the girl who believes in the band, and acutely observes the boys as they quickly grow to fame during summer in 1964. Jimmy, lead guitar, is the talented one who writes the hit songs. Guy, drummer, instills his jazz influence, which is responsible for bringing the band to the top of the charts. Lenny (Steve Zahn), guitar, is dazzled by fame and all the female attention it brings. TB Player (Ethan Embry), bass player, is concentrating on his military career set to start at the end of the summer. Also present is an innocent love triangle between Guy, Jimmy, and Jimmy's girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler).
This is a story of how overnight fame can affect many people, and how one small event, such as the drummer breaking his arm, can change a life or two. After Chad the drummer, played by Giovanni Ribisi, breaks his arm and can no longer play, Guy takes his place when the band goes on tour (we kept wondering when Chad was going to strike his buddies with lightning ...). Oh yeah, speaking of Bosom Buddies, keep an eye out for the cameo appearance of Buffy Wilson's old roommate, Hildegarde Desmond.
Although Hanks is in the movie, as manager Mr. White, his character's role is analogous to his real-life presence behind the camera. Hanks leads his young actors through superb performances. His directing style is clean and unintrusive, unlike the invasive in-your-face style of, say, Kathryn Bigelow. Hanks seems to have learned a lot from the likes of Ron Howard and Penny Marshall. In fact, we really appreciate a director who can tell a good story and doesn't distract his audience with bouncing cameras.