One of my favorite films ever! This is from January 20, 2015.
I like feel good movies, where there are likable characters, no real bad-bad guys, and things come to some sort of a happy conclusion. That's why I'm a fan of the Tom Hanks' written/directed/starred in 1996 film, That Thing You Do. It's the story of a fictional band called The Oneders which everyone mispronounces as Oh-Needers, prompting the name change to The Wonders. It's about a group of Pennsylvania young men of varying abilities who put together a band in the summer of 1964. They have a huge record, travel the country, and break up within several months. One hit wonders (no pun intended) like Norman Greenbaum (Spirit In The Sky) and Carl Douglas (Kung Fu Fighting) spring to mind. But there is the love interest that must be wrapped up and the lead singer's girlfriend, Faye, realizes he's a jerk and ends up with the better guy, whose name is, well, Guy. I hope I didn't spoil the dramatic conclusion if it's on your to-see list.
As in all movies, there is a pivotal moment and my interpretation of what that spark is in this one is this: When the band's regular drummer breaks his arm, a stand in, the aforementioned Guy, is added as his replacement. At a college talent show, Guy speeds up the tempo of a slow ballad called That Thing You Do much to the chagrin of lead singer and the song's author, Jimmy. But the kids in the crowd go nuts to the fast version, the group wins the talent show, and the rest is history, even if an exceedingly short one. Without that instantaneous uptempo shift, there would be no record, no hit, no fame, no movie, and no blog tonight.
I'm not trying to be real deep this evening. All the time, I tell my students their lives can change in a day, an hour, a minute. Truthfully, that might be good or bad but our lives can turn on a dime. We never know how close we are to a breakthrough, perhaps even a metamorphosis . In Mark 12, Jesus was having a discussion with one of the teachers of the law. The Savior was obviously impressed with this learned man's line of reasoning. Here is how The Christ ended the conversation in verse 34:
"When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
I've sometimes wondered if that unknown scholar ever found his way into God's kingdom. He was close! Maybe he was like us, in the academic sense or relationship-wise or career mode or most importantly and in the same fashion, the spiritual arena. I often remind the kids of what Jesus told His disciples to pray and not give up. Hang in there and keep fighting but do me a favor: Don't give up on me, either. I might be closer than you think!
To watch The Wonders perform That Thing You Do on tour, click or copy and paste below:
Applicable quote of the day:
"Can I say something? Jimmy, from now on, you stay away from me. I've wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you. Kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all of your color and life. I used to think that was the real you when you smiled, but now I know that you don't mean any of it. You just save it for all of your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight."
Faye Dolan/ AKA Liv Tyler (Breaking it off with Jimmy)
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