Saturday, September 10, 2011

"That Thing You Do" 1996

That Thing You Do!: Tom Hank's Extended Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)
“That Thing You Do”

So yesterday I wrote about the movie Tom Hanks followed his first Oscar win with. How does a two time, back to back winner follow that? He writes, directs and stars in his next movie. As Mr. White, he is in charge of everything.
Mr. White: Next, this "Oneders", with the O-N-E, it doesn't work. It's confusing. From now on, you boys'll just be... simply The Wonders.
Lenny: As in, I *wonder* what happened to the O'Needers?

The movie starts when Jimmy recruits Guy to play drums in his band. Soon Guy is upping the tempo and Jimmy’s soulful ballad turns into a catchy dance tune.

Tom Everett Scott is Guy 'Skitch' 'Shades' Patterson. He looks a lot like a young Tom Hanks. He is toiling away in his family’s appliance store and hoping for better things. He is dating Charlize Theron who doesn’t like being the girlfriend of a drummer. He fights feelings for Faye. She is in love with Jimmy.
Guy Patterson: When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean, truly, truly, good and kissed?

Liv Tyler is Faye who loves being on the sidelines of the band. She loves Jimmy and dreams of a life on the road with the band. But her relationship with Jimmy is doomed.
Faye: I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you - kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don't mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.

Johnathon Schaech is Jimmy the tortured and misunderstood. It makes him crazy that he has sold out. He wants to be a real artist not a one hit wonder.
Jimmy: [Speaking about Diane Dane ] She told me never trust a label. And I'm beginning to believe her.
Lenny: Well, sure. I mean, come on. They put us up in a first class hotel, all expenses paid, while our record climbs the charts; bunch of lyin' snakes.
Jimmy: Sorry I'm buggin' you! I guess I'm alone in my principles.
[leaves the room]
Lenny: Oh come on. Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song "Alone in my principles."

Steve Zahn is Lenny and there for comic relief. He does a great job.
[When Jimmy is reluctant to sign a management contract]
Lenny: Are you crazy? A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Gimme a pen, I'm signin'! You're signin'! We're all signin'!
Ethan Embry is the bass player who is never named. He is more obsessed with his military future than his guitar playing. He barely speaks in the movie and disappears after a trip to Magic Mountain.

Tom Hanks is at his sarcastic best as Mr. White.
Jimmy: [after their gig at "Weekend at Party Pier"] Hey, do we have a Top 10 record?
Mr. White: You sure do.
Jimmy: Well then, we shouldn't be here.
Mr. White: Jimmy, you'd rather be back on that state fair tour? They're playing in North Dakota this week.

The music is catchy. The band practiced for eight weeks before filming to look like a real band. They play the song over and over. It reminds you how those catchy songs quickly go from being fun to just irritating.
Overall it is a good film and a good Oscar follow-up for Tom Hanks.

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