Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Debate: That Thing You Do

I'm always willing to reconsider my deeply held opinions in the face of others, and so I open this debate:


That Thing You Do Posted by Picasa

Here's a recent off-site discussion with noted rock critic Steve Simels on the film.

NYMary:

If you're still here -- I saw your
post on Schlesinger at Power Pop.

For what it's worth, I like
THAT THING YOU DO -- both the movie
and the album -- a lot more than
you do.

I think the movie is pretty much the
best rock movie about the period
ever (with the possible exceptions
of THAT'LL BE THE DAY and STARDUST)
and I think the soundtrack is classic.
Just about every song is a gem,
even the deliberately crappy one that
leads it off.

IMHO.

steve simels | Email | 11.08.05 - 11:11 pm | #
----------------------------------------------------------
steve,
I really have issues with the two-dimensionality of a lot of the characters and the pseudo-hipness of the central guy, who was obviously cast because he looks like a young Tom Hanks.

But I do like the music a lot.
NYMary | Email | Homepage | 11.08.05 - 11:14 pm | #
----------------------------------------------------------
NYMary:

I know what you mean about the
script, but trust me -- the period
detail is a hundred percent dead
on.

Best movie about 1965 ever made.

steve simels | Email | 11.08.05 - 11:20 pm | #


So, what do you think?

10 comments:

ntodd said...

I liked it. Pure bubblegum, which was perfect for the era and industry it was showing us. And Liv Tyler. 'nuff said.

Aloysius said...

Nope. Not jumpin' in the middle of an argy-ment between you and Simels. That'd be like, y'know -- Toby Petzold commenting on politics.

However, when the movie comes on, I tend to watch it. Steve's definitely right about it capturing that mid-60s feel.

Thers said...

I didn't like it. The dialogue was terrible and any movie that ends with jazz is by definition bleah. Bah humbug. (Kicks puppy.)

The Kenosha Kid said...

I thought Captain Geech & The Shrimp Shack Shooters were wonderful.

Anonymous said...

The music works me, the movie works for me.... and I remember when they filmed the Erie, PA exterior shots - they were done in downtown Orange, CA. The locals were starstruck for the duration of the shoot - the L.A. Times ran a feature in the entertainment section on it.

NYMary said...

Hahaha, emma, I caught part of our "hometown" film the other night--a truly execrable piece of cinema called Liebestraum.

And if Liv Tyler is a reason to see a movie, NTodd, I've got four words for you: One Night at Mc'Cool's. 'Nuff said. Of course, Thers once told me in an obviously overstated moment that I looked like Liv Tyler: clearly bullshit, though our coloring is basically similar. That's why you get married, so there's someone around to whom you'll always be 25 and thin.

It may be, however, that a lot of my resistance has to do with my sharing of Thers's prejudice about jazz: I simply don't see it as the pinnacle from which one reluctantly descends to play pop. Too pretentious altogether.

ntodd said...

Thers once told me in an obviously overstated moment that I looked like Liv Tyler

Oh, my darling, you have a fair piece of Liv Tyler in you. I just wish I'd told you that first, before that damned drunken Mick lout.

rwlane said...

I liked the movie and loved the music. I just found out a few months ago that the title song is performed by Fountains of Wayne, which made me like it that much more. It's almost too catchy, though -- just thinking about it now means that it'll be going through my head for a few days!

-robin

Gardner said...

I've debated Steve before, though it's always been in letters. I liked Marshall Crenshaw's "Mary Jean and 9 Others," thought it a masterpiece in fact, and Steve said bleh. I also wrote in to complain about Lester Bangs' somewhat dismissive review of "Quadrophenia," and Steve sorta agreed with me, blaming Bangs' piece on a tight deadline, so I guess I'm .500 for arguing with my favorite rock critic of all time.

But I digress. My issues with TTYD are exactly yours, NYMary. It's a fine B+ movie that needed about 10-15% more excellence to make it all the way to A. The writing is often flat, and the characters are too. Nevertheless, it has a wonderful soundtrack, and it does have one of my top five rock movie moments ever: when Liv Tyler goes running down the street, a transistor radio held to her ear, and an expression of pure bliss on her face. Eliciting that response from a beautiful woman is a rock-and-roll dream, and the movie captures that moment in exquisite detail.

scout prime said...

I like it