That Thing You Do!

No one remembers the 1996 film That Thing You Do!

I’m here to jog your memory.

Tom Hanks directed, wrote, and co-starred in the cult hit about a fake sixties rock group, The Wonders.

The film depicted the rise and fall of a one-hit wonder band (well-named, Mr. Hanks); their hit being a catchy tune called “That Thing You Do” (hence the title of the film).

In the movie, Jimmy Mattingly (bandleader), writes the song as a ballad; the lyricism is sad and about heartbreak. When new drummer Guy “Shades” Patterson speeds it up and forces the rest of the band to match his quick tempo, the song becomes a rock-and-roll sensation. The band gets signed and the song becomes a hit.

The song was actually written by Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, and is a total masterpiece of pop composition, sixties rock or otherwise (the song charted at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 after the film’s release). The lyrics are sad and mournful and reminiscent of something we’ve all been through (myself included), but manage to still rock a catchy melody that fits perfectly within the boundaries of 60s music. “That Thing You Do” is the song that plays quintessentially in my head for days on end; through the great times and the not-so-great times.

It’s 2:30 in the morning here in California, and as you can tell, I’m in one of my crazy 2:30 moods. So I’ll just post a download, rather than rant at you. Enjoy:

That Thing You Do – The Wonders

About Dylan Visvikis

Dylan Visvikis is a working screenwriter and director in Los Angeles. View all posts by Dylan Visvikis

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