DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe
Yes, Tom Cruise is in this film. Don’t let his Cruise factor put you off this mid nineties film back when Cameron Crowe was considered a hot director/screenwriter hero and Renee Zellweger who?
Jerry Maguire is a full movie running at 130 minutes and you wonder, did we really need everything in it? Maybe not. What is in it that we choose to focus on captures us winning us over. Jerry Maguire (Cruise) is a sports agent that has a midnight epiphany about his company’s industry leading to him being fired. Dorothy Boyd ( Zellweger) follows him out the door because of his beliefs of heart. Maguire only manages one football client in Rod Tidwell ( Gooding Jr) but Maguire doesn’t care for him, he chases the bigger contracts in Frank Cushman (O’ Connell). Tidwell meanwhile wants his big contract but is unloved by the clubs because of his arrogant self righteous attitude. Jerry is forced to spend more time with Tidwell and spends his days trying for the contracts. Meanwhile a few tender moments are exchanged with Dorothy and sparks fly. She is a widow with a child and her big sister is a divorcee with subjective opinion.
90% of components work in this romantic comedy. You have Maguire and Tidwell both learning from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, identifying a person’s voice of wisdom and character’s realise how to overcome their conflict and insecurities. I didn’t give you any spoilers there, what brings the story down is that it has a few too many characters. Do we need Avery, Frank Cushman, and constant reminders of Bob Sugar. The film can be tighter if it zeroed in on the key relationships of Dorothy and her sister and Maguire and Tidwell. We see is Tidwell and family, divorcee groups, sport agency 101 and a few misfired scenes.
The film isn’t weak because of this, it doesn’t know what thread to follow so it chases a few too many. Every character wants their voice to be heard. That’s the issue.
The film is memorable for Cruise’s infamous “Show me the money” line along with “You complete me” moments but the key scenes are the truth moments between Zellweger and Cruise. They lay down reality of their marriage to each other and understand vulnerability is the only option. Again in another scene vulnerability between Gooding Jr and Cruise are acted well when their characters exchange why one doesn’t have a contract and the other a good relationship.
Truth. Passion. Vulnerability.
The film holds up despite some misgivings and it shows the viewer what vulnerability can do in friendships and relationships. Someone said to me last week, that guy’s a narcissist referring to a mutual friend. I agreed. This film is for the recovering narcissist ready to step into their 12 step programme.
Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire
Renee Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd
Cuba Gooding Jr as Rod Tidwell
Bonnie Hunt as Laurel Boyd