Title – Jerry Maguire (1996)
Director – Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous)
Cast – Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr, Bonnie Hunt, Jay Mohr, Kelly Preston, Regina King, Jerry O’Connell, Jonathan Lipnicki
Plot – Fired sports agent with a conscience Jerry Maguire (Cruise) finds himself with nothing more than one client in the form of the loud mouthed football player Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr) and one loyal employee turned possible love interest Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger).
“I love him for the man he wants to be. And I love him for the man he almost is”
Review by Eddie on 09/05/2017
A huge hit for all involved upon release in 1996 (where does 20 years go?), for some reason I’ve never shown Jerry Maguire “my money” and watched it in its entirety, despite it being the film that spawned an endless count of imitators trying to redo instantly classic scenes or launched the careers of Renee Zellweger and the Oscar winning Cuba Gooding Jr.
Before he went on to make the other instantly recognisable and well-regarded Almost Famous, director Cameron Crowe combined his skills as a writer and a feel-good director to give us this insight into sports agent with heart Jerry Maguire and his fight against the odds to keep his head above water but while the film masquerades under this disguise Crowe’s film is quite simply a Hollywood romance between Tom Cruise’s Maguire and Zellweger’s caring single mom Dorothy Boyd, whose young child Ray (played by Stuart Little’s very own brother Jonathan Lipnicki) just about steals the show.
Lathered in Hollywood schmaltz and filled with a loud American bravado thanks to Cruise and Gooding Jr’s turns, it’s hard to know how Crowe’s film would be received had it been released in today’s climate but as with many 90’s rom-coms you go in expecting things to be more fanciful and over the top than we’ve come to expect from the modern age’s more realistic ventures and it would take a viewer with a heart of stone to walk away from watching this uplifting tale not feeling some of those good vibrations that Crowe has largely failed to recapture in his career since (just look at Aloha).
Finding himself completely entangled in this feel good romance is it’s star Tom Cruise who delivers arguably one of his most likeable and complete turns as the driven yet always appealing Maguire.
If there was ever questions as to why Cruise was and still is one of the world’s most bankable and relatable on screen persona’s, it’s likely that Jerry Maguire would answer them in one clean sweep.
Showcasing an energy, likeability and delivery of important scenes that very few actors could dare to muster up, Cruise is without a doubt the quintessential Maguire, that person than can make anyone drink their Kool-Aid and in almost every scene of a movie that runs over 2 hours, Maguire ends up giving Cruise one of his most rounded and memorable acting gigs which is no small feat in a career filled to the brim with lasting classics.
Not everything works within the film however. Some scenes fall flat and Gooding Jr’s Oscar winning turn is hard to support when watched under current conditions, all yelling and hyperactivity, it’s not exactly the type of performance that you’d call the “year’s best” although those feel good vibes and the films overall success no doubt influenced many who were under the spell of Crowe and his audience appeasing venture.
A fun, smile inducing film that’s influence can’t be underestimated, Jerry Maguire is over the top and filled with Hollywoodized moments, plus it’s fair share of over the top scenarios and performance but with Crowe in the best form of his career as a filmmaker and Cruise on peak likeability mode, Jerry Maguire is a film worthy of its reputation even if it’s not quite the classic some would label it to be and absolutely a product of its time.
3 ½ memo’s out of 5