Starring: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr, Renee Zellweger, Kelly Preston
Running time: 139 minutes
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Written By: Cameron Crowe
Jerry Maguire was released a good few years ago and, despite knowing a few of the quotes from the film, I had never seen it. I knew it was Tom Cruise as the sport's agent Jerry Maguire, but never really knew the ins and outs of it. I was quite surprised to find out it has a good hint of comedy in it, and isn't as sporty as I
thought it was. I was shocked when I sat down to watch this.
The film begins showing Maguire as a hot shot agent, who represents many top sport stars across the country. One night however he has an epiphany and writes a 'mission statement' about how his agency should worry about the cliental instead of the money. He posts this 25 page mission statement in everybody at the company's pigeon hole and is greeted at work the next day with a huge round of applause. The big bosses of the company though don't agree with his document and instantly fire him, to be fair why would a company earning millions want to stop earning millions?
After being fired he heads off to set up his own business, but first tries to persuade his current sport stars to come with him. They all choose to stay with their current representation, apart from one who is willing to still use Mr Maguire as his agent, Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr). Maguire's company consists of himself and, an assistant who followed him from his former job, Dorothy (Zellweger). The company gets off to a bad start when the biggest football star in the country drops him and goes with Maguire's former company, leaving Maguire to put all his worth into Tidwell, who is an egotistical footballer with a severe attitude problem.
As the film goes on Maguire and Dorothy begin to fall for one another, and Tidwell becomes more of a friend than a client. Maguire and Tidwell, who both have different views on life, manage to teach each other subconsciously how to be the men that will make their career flourish. It isn't really a film about sport, it is more about the relationship people have, and especially since it is stated, Maguire struggling to be alone but lacking intimacy with anyone he is close to. The themes are deep, much deeper than a typical sports movie.
The script for the film is very good. The characters are so well drawn, and each one manages to bring something to the forefront, all to aid in Jerry Maguire's development as a person. The character of Tidwell is a great character and he is so pivotal for the outcome of this movie. The characters are also aided by some great acting. Cruise is very good in his role here, and is utterly believable as Maguire. He has the look and the mannerisms of an arrogant sports agent. Tom Hanks was originally slated for the role, but Cruise is definitely the right choice for it. Cuba Gooding Jr. is very good as Tidwell. He is over the top, brash and smitten with his wife. Gooding Jr. brings this character to life so well and thoroughly deserved his Oscar for Supporting Actor that year. Zellweger is also on top form as Dorothy. Her scenes with Cruise are full of emotion, and their chemistry is full of romance, despite one very uncomfortable scene where he kisses her all over on the doorstep. She is clearly in love with Maguire, and Zellweger shows this very well.
The film does have a good script and a strong cast but it isn't the best movie out there. The best this movie could possibly be is average. It is an easy watch but the middle sector especially is a little dull. The opening of the film, where we see Maguire have a slight breakdown, is good but it begins to run out of puff towards the end. It is a fairly long film and probably doesn't need to be. The end has a strange climax, and I wander why Tidwell manages to become a bigger star due to him having an injury on the pitch. It was something I just didn't understand. At the end they also announce Tidwell's new contract on the air of a television show, would they do that? Why would people want to hear about it? If anything I would say that would put fans off of him. Here it was pushing the audience to love the football star but why would you be happy for him securing a huge contract.
Small issues with this film really bring it down. It isn't a bad film but it also isn't great. The script and the acting are good but there are points that really bring the film down. It is an average film at best, made better by the talent on show. It does have some brilliantly quotable lines, and if you haven't seen this than you will notice which ones I am on about when you watch it. Despite being average I would suggest you watch it, mainly because it is an easy watch and one you won't particularly be disappointed with.
3 / 5
Next film to review: HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE