Saturday, March 20, 2010
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Jerry Maguire is directed by Cameron Crowe, and has a stellar cast consisting of Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Jonathan Lipnicki. This is a great movie with a few moral lessons thrown into the mix without being all preachy about it.
Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a hot shot sports agent who one day developes a conscience. He's tired of being just another "shark in a suit" and he wants to feel the way he did when he first started out in the business. So he writes a new mission statement for his company: "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business". It's his brutally honest thoughts on the state of the agent trade. So everyone's so impressed with his memo, but a week after writing it he's fired by Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), a man who's career he helped build. Adding to the insult of it all, Bob Sugar steals most of Jerry's players except for football superstar Frank Cushman, and the lesser known, trash talking Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr). Jerry starts his own agent business with the help of Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger), and a bit of romance developes. Jerry must fight to keep his career alive, and keep his players from abandoning him.
This movie starts off where most movies end. It explores the aftermath of making the breakthrough of deciding to stay true to oneself, and being honest and all that saintly, heavenly stuff. It's saying that it's not a walk in the park once you decide to do it. People take advantage of honest Jerry. So Jerry must learn how to play the game, while still trying to be "Jerry". What happens is that there isn't a complete transition from slimey, money worshipping Jerry to upstanding, do the right thing all the time Jerry. He becomes a slightly better person, but he's still a money hungry agent. He's just trying to be very successful on his own terms.
The casting is excellent. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is brilliant as the loudmouthed, cocky Rod Tidwell, and his award for best supporting actor was well deserved. Renée Zellweger has her usual charm. Tom Cruise was an excellent choice. He normally plays that asshole that gets everything that he wants, but here he's at his best where he's that asshole who has come to the realisation that he's an utter moron, and decides to change. All in all, I'd give it a 8/10.