Synopsis: A little band from Erie, PA wrties a hugely popular song. This catapults them to being local and, eventually, national celebrities. This movie chronicles their rise and fall.
Why I Liked This Movie: In a smart move on Tom Hanks' part, he plays the song "That Thing You Do" over and over again in this movie. This song epitomizes early sixties rock: it's just fun. It's hard for a person to watch this movie and to not like the song by the end.
In addition, this movie provides scores of quotable lines that make even the most jaded among us crack a smile if we haven't heard them in a while. For example, when asking about when the band would receive copies of their records, and they are answered with the quoting of a Bible verse from Luke, Lenny (the lead guitarist) says, "Luke? Who's Luke? When do we get the records?" That line gets me every time. Also, upon being given a bonus and being asked if he understands what the extra bills on the counter are, Lenny replies, "Presidential flash cards?"
In addition, there is Liv Tyler who is not dressed like an Elf or smoking; this is every high school boy's fantasy.
Further, the drummer, Guy Patterson, ends up with Liv Tyler, which is just the sort of happy ending that you dream of.
Why I Didn't Like It: There's not too much to dislike with this movie. IMDB provides various continuity gaps, but none of that bugs me too much.
Why It's On the List: I, like so many others in high school, have played in a couple of rock bands. I played the bass which means two things: 1) I am the coolest thing since sliced bread, and 2) since everyone else plays guitar, there is quite a demand in high school rock bands for competent bass players.
As I played in bands, had the first three quarters of this movie occurred for any of the bands I was in, I would have been excited beyond the capacity of words to explain. As it was, though, none of the projects got too much further than the garage, although I was fortunate enough to make a couple of cds. Perhaps I will set up links to let the internet world know what we sounded like some point in the future, but as it stands now, I've got to start thinking about what I'm going to write for the number one movie.