That Thing You Do!

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +1

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks makes a winning debut as a screenwriter and director in this lively rock-and-roll adventure. In the summer of 1964, four friends from Erie, Pennsylvania, form a band to compete in a local talent contest. Drummer Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott), subbing for an regular member of the group who broke his arm, creates a sensation by adding an unexpectedly spirited beat to a song that lead singer Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech) originally wrote as a ballad. The teen audience loves the tune, and soon the band, dubbed the Wonders, are courted by an eager manager and attract the interest of a national record label. Hanks himself plays Mr. White, the enterprising record company executive who guides the rising fortunes of the Wonders, taking them on a national tour that has their song climbing the charts. The boys rapidly graduate from state fair appearances to a beach movie cameo, hitting the big time with a guest spot on a national TV variety show. The movie has lots of laughs as the Wonders experience this meteoric rise to the top, along with some spirited original songs written especially for the movie. If you're looking for some fun entertainment, punch up your personal jukebox to THAT THING YOU DO!

Overall the film has a wholesome quality, as the Wonders join other clean-cut pop stars on their tour. With Mr. White guiding almost every move, the boys mostly stay out of trouble. Wise-cracking guitarist Lenny (Steve Zahn) imagines himself as a ladies' man and tries to pick up some girls, and nights on the town include some alcohol drinking. Language is not a major problem, although the film does have a few crude words and one moderate obscenity. The band members, caught up in the excitement of hearing their song on the radio for the first time, express their emotions with some exclamatory profanities. Since Jimmy is accompanied on the tour by his girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler), one could surmise that they are spending their nights together, although Hanks has said that he thought people would assume they stayed in separate rooms. If that was his intention, perhaps he should have made that distinction clearer in the film. On the whole, THAT THING YOU DO! is a loving look back at a more innocent era.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
20th Century Fox, Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild

Obscene Language: Once (slang word for excrement; no f- or s-words)

Profanity: Several (9) times - Exclamatory (OMG 7, Good Lord 2)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity (few low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Implied non-marital relationship

Drugs: Alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking


Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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