Hollywood icon Tom Hanks openly acknowledges that not all of his film ventures have attained the level of greatness he aspired to. Reflecting on the subjective nature of filmmaking, Hanks humbly admits, “Let’s admit this: We all have seen movies that we hate. I have been in some movies that I hate. You have seen some of my movies and you hate them.” He understands that audience reception varies, stating, “Someone is going to say, ‘I hated it.’ Other people can say, ‘I think it’s brilliant.’ Somewhere in between the two is what the movie actually is,” referring to it as “Rubicon No. 3.”
For Hanks, there are four additional Rubicons to consider. The fourth is the commercial performance of the film, as Hanks explains, “because if it does not make money, your career will be toast sooner than you want it to be. That’s just the fact.” Lastly, the fifth and final Rubicon is time. Hanks cites examples such as the holiday classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and his own film ‘That Thing You Do!’ to illustrate the impact of time on a movie’s perception.
Regarding ‘That Thing You Do!’, a film he wrote, directed, and starred in, Hanks shares his love for the project, stating, “I loved making that movie. I loved writing it, I loved being with it. I love all the people in it.” However, upon release, it faced dismissive reviews and underwhelming box office numbers. Hanks recounts, “It was viewed as being some sort of odd, kinda quasi-ripoff of nine other different movies and a nice little stroll down memory lane.” Nevertheless, as time passed, the film gained a new status. Hanks remarks, “Now the same exact publications that dismissed it in their initial review called it ‘Tom Hanks’ cult classic, That Thing You Do!’ So now it’s a cult classic.” He emphasizes that time was the differentiating factor in changing perceptions.