Dave and Rachel's movie reviews.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jerry Maguire

Year: 1996
Running time: 139 minutes
Certificate: 15
Language: English
Screenplay: Cameron Crowe
Director: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bonnie Hunt, Jonathan Lipnicki, Kelly Preston, Regina King, Jerry O'Connell, Jay Mohr

Cuba broke the news that this wasn't Risky Business 2
Like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise is often under-rated as an actor due to the megastar movie stud reputation. Not like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise also has a reputation for idiocy (sofa jumping, scientology) that can often overshadow his abilities as an actor. Like Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July and (in particular) Magnolia, Cruise’s turn in Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy as a sports agent who has a crisis of conscience and loses almost everything as a result is strong evidence that he is in fact (like Brad Pitt) one of the finest actors of his generation.

When Jerry Maguire (Cruise) attempts to promote a new philosophy at the agency where he works which involves less money and more focus on the well being of the sports stars they represent, he soon finds himself fired by the smug, uncaring Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr). Maguire's humiliation for attempting to reverse the tide of corporate greed surrounding him is played out excruciatingly, and he manages to retain only one of his clients, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr. in a performance that was deservedly Oscar winning, and, with the possible exception of Boyz N the Hood, is still his best, As Good As It Gets notwithstanding). It should seem a hollow victory, but Crowe's deft handling turns it into a scene that makes you want to punch the air in triumph.

Renée Zellweger is as delightful as ever in the role of love interest Dorothy Boyd, the single mother who follows Maguire and the only one genuinely touched by his change of heart. Jonathan Lipnicki is always hard to love, but he does well here as Zellweger’s son, Ray – he almost doesn’t make me want to throw him in front of a train.

Elastic band battles: very serious business.
What follows are two simultaneous plot strands. Maguire struggles to come to terms with what he’s lost and focus on his single remaining client, while falling for Dorothy. It’s done with flair, invention and the sharp witty dialogue typical of Crowe. The two happy endings of Tidwell's big game and Jerry and Dorothy finally pairing up are both very predictable of course, but Crowe and his cast make sure they are satisfying – the famous “You had me at hello” is sure to soften even the hardest of hearts.

Not bad for a rom-com. Not bad at all.

Score: 7/10

A couple of other reviews in general agreement from master critic Roger Ebert and Total Film.