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Jerry Maguire

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Jerry Maguire

Starring: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger
Director: Cameron Crowe
Rated: R
RunTime: 138 Minutes
Release Date: December 1996
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Sports

*Also starring: Glenn Frey, Jonathan Lipnicki, Todd Louiso, Regina King, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bonnie Hunt, Jay Mohr, Kelly Preston

Review by Brian Koller
2½ stars out of 4

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

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