Tom Cruise struck gold again with this feel-good
romantic comedy, landing another Best Actor Oscar
nomination. "Jerry Maguire" was one of the most
successful films of 1996, and "Show Me the Money"
became one of the most annoying catch phrases of
that year. While the Oscar nomination for
Cameron Crowe's screenplay was undeserved, the
supporting performances by Cuba Gooding, Jr. and
Jonathan Lipnicki make the film worth seeing.
The first half of the film has the theme
'See the sports agent hit rock bottom'.
Jerry Maguire (Cruise) works for evil conglomerate
Sports Management International. He writes a
memo condemning corporate greed, and soon is
fired. All his clients but one are stolen by
arch-rival Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr). His sole remaining
athlete is wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Gooding),
who is talented but has an attitude problem.
Now broke, Cruise breaks up with his violent playmate
Kelly Preston. On the rebound, he takes up with
single mother Dorothy (Renee Zellweger), who lives
with her son Ray (Lipnicki) and world-weary older
sister Laurel (Bonnie Hunt). Cruise loves exuberant,
nerdy-looking Ray more than Dorothy, leading to
much pouting and trauma on her part. But no worries,
a happy ending for all concerned is inevitable.
Maguire's career is initially destroyed by his manifesto,
which contains such blasphemy as 'less clients, less money'.
Writing the memo is perhaps the only moment his character
seems emotionally honest. He clings to Tidwell out of
desperation, marries Dorothy out of guilt, and returns
to her apparently because Tidwell caught a touchdown pass.
While Cruise can convey frustration well, he is otherwise
flat, and is outperformed by his supporting cast. Gooding
makes Cruise look stiff, while Zellweger makes him seem
obliging but disinterested.
The Academy Awards loved "Jerry Maguire", however,
nominating the film for Best Picture. Joe Hutshing
was nominated for Best Film Editing, while Gooding won
the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Copyright © 1997 Brian Koller