A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire What Are You Watching?
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

That Thing You Do!

A-

That Thing You Do!

Community Grade (5 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade

?

That Thing You Do!, Tom Hanks' sprightly little sock-hop of a movie, is cute, innocent, and very, very slight. The story of four unpretentious lads from Pennsylvania who rise to the top of the pops in 1964 with an up-tempo signature tune, That Thing You Do! is a cleanly made, deliberately simple little diversion. In fact, its simplicity was wrought with a iron fist; Hanks seems determined to jackhammer into moviegoers' skulls a bright, sunny New Frontier, where the boys are lovable lugs, the girls are dutifully bouffanted, and black people are savvy and supportive. Hanks nicely lampoons the smug, stagnant, assembly-line attitude of the American pop-music establishment of the time, but it's clear that Hanks intends his Boomer-pleasing nostalgia to be strictly of the declawed variety. As a result, little sticks with the viewer after the end credits roll, with the possible exception of Johnathon Schaech's hair. Even the title song comes up short; intended to possess Beatles-esque pop hooks, it sounds as over-processed as the Happy Days theme song.