That Thing You Do!

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That Thing You Do! ★★★ 1996 (PG)

The Wonders, a small-town foursome, hit the big time in 1964 after a substitute drummer (like that could ever happen) adds some kick to the band's new song and sets the local kids a-fruggin'. Developed by freshman director/screenwriter Hanks (who also plays the band's Svengali-like record exec) as a diversion from Oscar hype, it's nostalgic and uncomplicated to a fault, but engaging nonetheless. Hanks clone Scott puts the beat into the charmingly wholesome quartet, while the underused Tyler is disarming as the put-upon girlfriend. Look quick or you'll miss bosom buddy Scolari as a TV host. Can't-get-it-out-of-your-head title track (played 11 times in the film) was selected from over 300 submissions after Hanks put out the call to music publishers. 110m/C VHS, DVD . Johnathon Schaech, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn, Ethan (Randall) Embry, Obba Babatunde, Charlize Theron, Peter Scolari, Alex Rocco, Bill Cobbs, Rita Wilson, Chris Isaak, Kevin Pollak, Giovanni Ribisi, Bryan Cranston, Holmes Osborne, Dawn Maxey, Sean M. Whalen, Clint Howard, Kathleen Kinmont, Barry Sobel, Gedde Watanabe, Jonathan Demme, Marc McClure, Colin Hanks; D: Tom Hanks; W: Tom Hanks; C: Tak Fujimoto; M: Howard Shore.