Movie Season round 4:
Don’t Think Twice inspires The Thing You Do
Sorry that this is late, you guys! I was at a comic con on Saturday and then Sunday I spent three hours training for race day (less than a month, eeehhh!!!) So I wasn’t really up for writing so much as sleeping!
Anyway, choosing a movie to pair with Don’t Think Twice took some thinking and I’m very proud of what I wound up with. As I reflected on Don’t Think Twice and what it was saying (which was a lot,) the things that really interested me about it were the personalities bouncing around it, and the cross section of creation and commerce.
No other movie deals with that quite as well as That Thing You Do, the rock and roll fable that Tom Hanks gave us in the 90’s and is in the top ten movies that I’ve seen the most. It’s one of those stop on cable and watch it regardless of timing movies (also included, The Princess Bride & and of the Rocky films.) The Wonders are a group of people who are quickly shot into extraordinary circumstances and it winds up tearing them apart and forcing them to make something new.
Guy Patterson is a really good protagonist, especially as everymen go. Tom Everett Scott invests him with just enough personality that you want to root for him, but not enough to alienate you. He’s on a ride that he’s going to enjoy and that leads to him finding out what he actually wants (He winds up a music teacher, rather than a rock star. It’s a brilliant subversion). Which, oddly, lines him up with Sam, Gillian Anderson’s character in Don’t Think Twice, he wants the music, not the glory. She wants the art of improv, not the glory of comedy stardom.
When something falls apart, it’s tempting to believe that that’s a bad thing, but sometimes that destruction is what lives come out of, where joy and art and goodness blooms, and I think that’s the theme of both of these little show business stories, that focus on people and places and specificity and something magical and special.
Also, that song is pretty great. Way to go Adam Schlessinger!