It figures that one of the nicest guys in Hollywood made one of the most simply enjoyable movies of 1996 in his directorial debut.
Tom Hanks spins the tale of a group of young friends who start off as a party band and find themselves on a wild ride to stardom in 1964 after their first single hits it big in THAT THING YOU DO!
Tom Everett Scott is perfect as Guy Patterson, a fill in drummer for the group that sparks their run by unwittingly turning a slow song into a fast paced hit. Jonathon Schaech is moody lead singer Jimmy and Liv Tyler steals every scene as his girlfriend Faye.
Hanks keeps the film fast moving, fun and filled with tons of original tunes that perfectly capture the early sixties. The band's first radio hit, "That Thing You Do" will get stuck in your head in all the right ways.
Hanks also plays the manager of their record label Play-Tone. As Mr. White, he constantly hands off sage advice while moving them on and off plenty of stages. Steve Zahn is terrific as the comic member of the band, Lenny. His innocence and excitement at every phase of their journey brings plenty of laughs.
The Oneders (or The Wonders as they finally figure out looks better on the marquee) have plenty of fun and so will you. THAT THING YOU DO is charming, enjoyable and just plain fun.
Go ahead, just try to wipe that smile off your face (and that song out of your head!) when the film wraps up. Too enjoyable to get anything but an A.