UPDATE: At my mother’s request, I removed the word “bitch” from the post below.
LITTLE-KNOWN FACT THAT SHOULD NOT BE LITTLE-KNOWN
“That Thing You Do!” is probably the best movie ever made about a band. It’s basically a perfect movie. I can’t for the life of me find a flaw in it, and it’s got probably one of the most joyous scenes ever recorded on film — when The Wonders’ single plays on the radio for the first time and Liv Tyler and Ethan Embry go batshit crazy, running across downtown Erie, Penn., screaming all the way to Patterson’s Appliances.
All the characters are perfectly drawn and complimentary. The ensemble fits together like a puzzle, and, for my money, “That Thing You Do!” was one of the more perfect pieces of entertainment in the ’90s.
This, however, is not — or should not be — a little-known fact.
What is a little-known fact, however, is this: Tom Hanks’ character, The Wonders’ manager, Mr. White, is, in fact, gay.
Yep. He’s gay. And you only discover this if you buy Hanks’ director’s cut released last year. Tucked among the deleted scenes is a sequence where Hanks is leaving The Wonders’ Los Angeles hotel and meets Howie Long (of all people) who picks him up outside the lobby in a red convertible. They’re both in tuxedos and they’re going to a party.
Then Guy Patterson walks out, and there’s a witty little conversation where Howie and Tom fight over whether to invite Guy — who’s drunk and fresh from his surprise meeting with faux-legend Del Paxton — to the party, which they kind of imply will be just a bunch of gay dudes. Guy doesn’t understand and they drive off to the party. End scene.
Why it’s in the deleted scenes, I have no idea. I’m pretty sure there’s no commentary for it. Regardless, if I ever met Hanks — be it as a reporter or otherwise — it’s the first question I would ask him: Why did you cut Mr. White’s gay scene?
I’d upload the video, but I don’t know how to do that just yet, and if I put it on YouTube I’d probably be swifly accosted by some lawyer at 20th Century Fox. If you’re desperate to see it, Netflix it.
But, yeah, if you rewatch “That Thing You Do!” knowing Hanks’ character is gay, it gives a few of his lines new, humorous context you likely didn’t notice before.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.