I'm starting a new feature here at the blog called My Favorite Movies, in which I will... well... talk about my favorite movies. :) I plan to post these on Fridays. Let's start with a movie which never fails to make me smile:
That Thing You Do! was Tom Hanks' directorial debut and was released in 1996. I loved it from the first time I saw it in the theater. It's the fictional account of the evolution of a one-hit-wonder band, aptly named The Wonders, in the 60's. The Wonders are pushed onto the road to fame by Guy Patterson, who works in his dad's appliance shop by day and drums along to jazz records at night. When he substitutes for the band's regular drummer at a talent show, he instinctively changes a ballad to a dance song, and a hit is born. Within a short time, the four guys are discovered by a famous record producer (Tom Hanks), go on tour along with the lead singer's girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler), and play on the equivalent of the Ed Sullivan Show... at which point everything falls apart.
I find the plot surprisingly believable, probably because the characters are so natural. Guy remains my all-time #1 movie crush, and Lenny (Steve Zahn) is hilarious in every scene. I also like the fact that the bass player is never given a name and is referred to only as The Bass Player.
Having musician friends who are trying to make it big has given me a new level of appreciation for this movie. I hope to participate in a re-enactment of this scene at some point:
Some of my favorite quotes:
"As in, I WONDER what happened to the Oh-needers?"
"There he goes, off to his room to write that hit song, 'Alone In My Principles'!"
"When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean truly, truly good and kissed?"
"Gentlemen. I forgot what you fellows looked like."
While fact-checking at the IMBD page, I discovered for the first time that TTYD is rated PG! I don't know of any other PG movie for adults that's this entertaining. If you need something to watch this weekend, I highly recommend it. :)