Thursday, March 27, 2014
Retro Review: Jerry Maguire (1996)
'Jerry Maguire': A Sports Rom-Com With A Lot of Heart
Normally, I'm not too much of a romantic comedy guy, but here, we have a rather unique romantic comedy that actually manages to appeal to a much wider audience. It seems audiences really "showed the producers the money" when this film came out and I can see why as it is a masterpiece.
Jerry Maguire is about a sports agent named Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) who suddenly has his conscience awaken as he writes a mission statement about dishonesty in the sports business which ultimately leads him to be fired by his agency. He is then left with one client, a wide receiver named Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) who plays with his head and not his heart and starts his own agency with the help of an accountant at his agency named Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger).
What I Liked About It:
One thing that I really liked about this film was how it was able to jam together different film genres. It is a romantic comedy yet it is also a sports movie and is even a look at the sports industry at the agents that push for their clients to have fulfilling careers. I also thought it was interesting how the film examines the relationship between agents and clients as they are usually business rather than personal relationships. There is even a scene in the beginning of the film where one of Jerry's clients becomes injured and he focuses less on his condition and more on him playing again. The film even manages to convey a meaningful message about following your heart and focus on the theme of honesty. To tell the theme of trying to be honest, Cameron Crowe picked the right occupation of entertainment agency to convey it as there are plenty of agents that try to promote their clients and even build hype around them whether they live up to it or not. Speaking of Crowe, I loved the way he wrote it. Crowe wrote my favorite movie, Almost Famous, and that film was also smartly written. My favorite scene in this film. however, is probably the scene where Jerry and his rival agent, Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), are fighting over control of Jerry's clients by talking to them on the phone and the film cuts back and forth between Maguire and Sugar talking on the phone until Maguire talks to Tidwell resulting in the film's famous "show me the money" scene.
Another thing that I liked was the performance by Tom Cruise. While the other actors, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr., who won an Oscar for his supporting work in this film, are splendid, it is Tom Cruise who makes the film. Cruise is just dynamic and even hilarious as the agent with a crisis of conscience. Cruise even has great chemistry with Zellweger and I liked watching the scenes with Cruise and Gooding Jr. where they play off each other.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, Jerry Maguire is a unique entry into both the romantic comedy genre and sports movie genre. It features great performances from the cast, especially Tom Cruise, and is smartly written by writer/director Cameron Crowe. I would highly recommend this because this has a little something for everybody and that is what makes it special and the modern day classic that it is.