I hardly cry during movies, the last one that made me really shed tears was The Joy Luck Club. Jerry Maguire joins the ranks of a few films that have been able to make me shed a tear.
As the film opens we find out about Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise). Jerry is a cocky sports agent who is on top of everything. He sounds like a happy guy until he starts to see that he hates himself and hates the place in the world that he occupies. So, during one raining night in a hotel room, Jerry begins to write about everything that should be done in the sport agency business. He writes a 25-page mission statement and distributes it to everyone in the office.
Expecting the worse, he walks into the hotel lobby the find everyone clapping and cheering him for such a candid look at the business. A few days later Jerry is fired.
The story goes from here to see Jerry and his fiancee, Avery (Kelly Preston), Jerry and his only client Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), and Jerry and office assistant Dorthy Boyd (Renee Zellweger). Jerry soon breaks off his relationship with Avery, and starts one with Dorthy.
The story follows Jerry as he changes from a man who has all heart put into his work and no heart at home, to a man who learns to balance the two. To contrast this, we also follow Rod Tidwell, who has all his heart at home but none at work. We see through the movie how these two men change and learn to change from each other.
Tom Cruise, coming off his Mission:Impossible movie, does a great job as Jerry Maguire. I think that Cruise is better suited for this sort of role more than the testosterone-laden role in Mission:Impossible. Cuba Gooding Jr. puts on screen one of the best performances of the film. And is well worth the Academy Award that he won. But the true standout performance is from the new comer, Renee Zellweger as Dorthy Boyd. Her Dorthy is one that pulled me into the film. Dorthy is a 26-year-old single mother, who has “had three lovers in the last four years. All coming in second to a warm bath and a good book.” If anything watch Jerry Maguire for Zellweger.
Other performances that stick out are Regina King as Rod Tidwell’s loving wife and Bonnie Hunt as Dorthy’s overprotective sister. Also worth mentioning is Jonathan Lipnicki as Dorthy’s (sometimes too) cute son, Ray.
The only complaint that I have is that Zellweger is not one screen as much as she should been.
Bruce Springsteen has a beautifully serene song, Secret Garden, the plays twice during the film.
Jerry Maguire is a film that proves that not all films coming out of Hollywood are completely mindless. Jerry Maguire is a smart funny romantic comedy. It is populated by character’s that are not flat, but well rounded and make you truly care for them. Jerry Maguire is the perfect film to see with your significant other.
“Show me the money!” - Rod Tidwell