The Sunday Review: Jerry Maguire

Sunday 19 November (2006)

jerry maguire

I absolutely hate myself for liking this movie. It’s a Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cameron Crowe romantic comedy. And it’s great.

Cruise plays the titular disillusioned sports agent, who in a night of madness writes a twenty-five page ‘mission statement’ for his corporation, professing fewer clients and less money. It is, in his own words, ‘touchy feely’ – but it wins him the respect of his peers, who agree with him that they work in a shallow, money-grabbing business. Of course it’s also professional suicide, and pretty soon he finds himself fired. He phones round his ex-clients to see who will stick with him, as he opens his own sports agency – but only two agree to stay; loudmouth football star Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr., in an Oscar winning role) and the soon-to-be biggest footballer on the planet, ‘Cush’ (Jerry O’Connell). He convinces single-mother Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger) to join him at the company; the only person willing to belive in him, deeply inspired after reading his mission statement.

Things soon go from bad to worse for Jerry, as his wife leaves him, followed by Cush returning to Jerry’s old company – leaving the start-up solely representing Tidwell. But this is where the movie starts making its point – in being relegated to a single client, Jerry ends up spending all of his time with him – and as a result, becomes good friends with him. Similarly, his relationship with Dorothy blooms, helped in part by her young son Ray (one of the all-time great ‘cute’ kid performances, that’s never too sweet) and the two become engaged.

Then! It all goes wrong again. But that’s enough about the plot; if you want to know how it turns out you need to watch the movie yourself.

As far as romantic comedies go, this has to be one of the best. Sure, it has its fair share of ‘chick-flick’ moments (the ‘you had me at hello’ scene being the obvious example) but it never lays them on too thick. It helps that Jerry himself starts out as a classic asshole (perhaps not, but you can’t help hating him), but in losing everything he turns into a likeable guy. The scenes with Cuba Gooding Jr. are all good, and all in, this is one of those unashamedly feelgood movies that you kind of feel embarassed for liking – but at the same time, so what? It’s a really good fun movie.

I recommend this, unless you have a total heart of stone, or if you’re just too macho


One Response to “The Sunday Review: Jerry Maguire”

  1. Sally Says:

    I can’t believe I still haven’t watched it. You have to let me borrow it. If there’s a rom-com you’re so enthusiastic about I’ve got to see it for myself! xxx

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