This 1996 movie was written and directed by Tom Hanks, and concerns a fledgling rock band formed in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1964.
The name of the band is "The Oneders", meant to be pronounced "The Wonders" but easy to misread as "The O-need-ers". As The Oneders prepare for a talent show at the local high school, they find themselves short a member: their drummer Chad (Giovanni Ribisi) has broken his arm. So the guys - singer/songwriter Jimmy Mattingly (Johnathon Schaech), guitarist/songwriter and joker Lenny (Steve Zahn), and the bass player (Ethan Embry) ask their friend Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tom Hanks) to sit in for the gig. Guy works in his father's appliance store and prefers to keep his drumming to solo basement bashing along with jazz records, but reluctantly agrees to help out. On the fateful night, as they launch into Jimmy's song, "That Thing You Do", Guy ups the tempo drastically, and the ballad becomes a catchy pop tune. Jimmy isn't happy, but the kids love it, especially the girls.
The Oneders biggest fan is Jimmy's girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler); Guy's new girlfriend Tina (Charlize Theron) is more blase, but the Oneders quickly gain a loyal following when they begin playing weekends at the local Italian restaurant. Then a manager takes them on, promising them gigs at local fairs, and eventually introduces them to Mr. White (Hanks), who works for Play-Tone Records. White signs them and sends them on tour, though wisely not before renaming them "The Wonders". As they tour with the Play-Tone Galaxy of Stars their record climbs the charts, but tensions mount between the guys and it seems the whole thing might implode before they get to the studio. Will they become just another one hit wonder? You'll have to watch and find out!
This is a light frothy movie with nothing much to it, but it has an innocent charm that rests in large part on its perfect recreation of the halcyon pre-hippie early sixties. Light fun.