Black SplatThat Thing You Do! (1996)
   

"I shoulda dumped you in Pittsburgh!"

That Thing You Do! - Jimmy dumps Faye

Description: Musician James “Jimmy” Mattingly II (Jonathon Schaech) signals the end of his relationship with girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler) in the motion picture That Thing You Do! (1996).

Jimmy is an aspiring songwriter and rhythm guitarist/lead singer for a rock band "The Wonders." Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, the members of the band, include: drummer Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott), who got the gig when the band's regular drummer Chad (Giovanni Ribisi) broke his arm; Lenny Haise (Steve Zahn), the lead guitarist and singer; and bass guitarist T.B. Player (Ethan Embry). The band's good luck charm and groupie is Faye Dolan who follows the band to be with her boyfriend, Jimmy. She is later labled the group's "costume mistress."

Before making it big, the band then called "The Oneders" (pronounced "ONE-ders" and often mispronounced as the "oh-NEE-ders.") enter a local talent contest and win the $100 prize and a job to play their music at a local pizza parlor near the airport.

To cash in on their success, the band cuts a record and sells it for a dollar a piece at the pizza parlor and at the appliance store owned by Guy's father.

That Thing You Do! - The Wonders Tour Bus

Soon after, talent scout Phil Horace (Chris Ellis) hears the group play, buys a record and offers to promote the group and their hit song "That Thing You Do!" His philosophy: "I've found that a hit record is like a stew. All the ingredients have to come together just right. Otherwise, it's just soup."

Horace gets the record broadcast on the radio and the band goes wild over their local yet limited success. Within a short time, Horace sells their contract to Mr. White (Tom Hanks), who works for the Play-Tone record label. He renames the band "The Wonders" and sends them around the country as part of the "Galaxy of Stars" tour where they play their song over and over to teenagers who dig the uplifting tune.

To give Guy a hipper looks, Mr. White tells him to wear sunglasses, nicknames him "Shades" and says, "You know, Horace was right about you, Guy; you are the smart one. Lenny is the fool, Jimmy is the... talent, and Faye is... well, now, Faye is special, isn't she? And you are the smart one. That's what I think, anyway."


Jimmy: She (Diana Dane) told me never trust a label. And I'm beginning to believe her.
Lenny: Well, sure. I mean, come on. They put us up in a first class hotel, all expenses paid, while our record climbs the charts; bunch of lyin' snakes.
Jimmy: Sorry I'm buggin' you! I guess I'm alone in my principles.
Lenny: Oh come on. Oh, there he goes off to his room to write that hit song "Alone in my principles

After playing Midwest state fairs and a guest appearance as "Cap'n Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters" in a beach movie, the band's single climbs the Billboard Top 100. Soon, Mr. White proudly announces, "'That Thing You Do' is the fastest rising hit single in the history of the Play-Tone label. As of tomorrow morning, you Wonders - you've got the #7 record in the country."

That Thing You Do! - The Wonders perform on Television

When the band is booked on a TV spot, the words "Careful girls, he's engaged!" are captioned on the screen beneath Jimmy's image. After the performance, the not-so-faithful Jimmy doesn't like the idea of being "engaged" and gets into an argument with Faye that ends with him telling her, "I shoulda dumped you in Pittsburgh!" Before Jimmy blows Faye off, she puts her two cents into the mix, saying:

“I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you—kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don’t mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.”

In the end, Jimmy violates his contract with Play-Tone and quits the band. So what happened to this "one-hit-wonder" of a band after everyone went their separate ways?

Well, Guy and Faye fall in love, raise four children, and run a music conservatory in Los Angeles where Guy teaches Jazz Composition. Jimmy rejoins Play-Tone and records three gold albums with a new band called The Heardsmen (his choice for the original Erie band). Lenny, now single, manages, a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. And T. B. Player, who joined the Marines, was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received while serving in Vietnam. He becomes a building contractor in Florida.


That Thing You Do - Movie Poster


 
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