Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jerry Maguire (+ BD Live) (1996)

Jerry MaguireWell, I'm incredibly late to the Jerry Maguire party, but I'm glad I finally made it. I thought this was just a comedy, but I should have known better because laughs alone usually don't generate the kind of success this movie enjoyed. This is a wonderful, feel-good movie with a surprisingly effective emotional payoff. Tom Cruise is great, Cuba Gooding, Jr., steals every scene he's in, and that Renee Zellweger is nothing short of perfect. They even threw in a clip of McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O and sent me away with Bob Dylan singing over the credits in my book, that's going above and beyond the call of duty. And I never tire of seeing someone break away from the cynicism of big business and actually put some heart back into an increasingly heartless way of life.

Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is, of course, a bigshot sports agent who has it all then loses it all. For some inexplicable reason, he develops a conscience late one night, puts together this huge "mission statement" all about reducing the number of clients and giving those remaining the genuine personal touch, and sends it to everyone in the company. With a schlep of a boss like Bob Sugar (the always annoying Jay Mohr), his days with the company are, not surprisingly, numbered. He vows to start his own company, desperately trying to hold on to the clients he has been representing but all he ends up taking with him are outrageous Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), an accountant who was truly inspired by what he had written. It doesn't seem like much, but he really has all he will ever need he just doesn't realize it until the end of the movie.

Life on his own is quite a struggle, especially after he breaks up with his vicious fiancée (Kelly Preston), and I know it must be truly demoralizing to be defeated time and time again by Jay Mohr. Rod Tidwell, a great player who doesn't get the notice (or money) he thinks he deserves, stays loyal to him, though, for rather inexplicable reasons even after Maguire fails to get him the kind of big money he is looking for in a new contract. Dorothy also stays with him, and Maguire grows increasingly close to her and her little boy Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki). There's love in the air, and Maguire's famous problem with emotional intimacy makes what should be the simplest thing in the world immensely complicated. We see a lot of Maguire at his worst double-crossed, drunk, beaten up, wallowing in self-pity. He never gives up, though, and that's what's important. I find it a little problematic that he did not apply the principles of his "mission statement" to the way he lived his life, but in his defense guys tend to be pretty dense about this kind of thing (and would that we all had a Dorothy to help us see the light).

There's a wonderful cast on display here, with uncommonly meaningful secondary characters: there's little Ray, of course, but Dorothy's bitter yet loving sister Laurel (Bonnie Hunt) and Rod Tidwell's wife Marcee (Regina King) really do lay claim to a commanding presence in the story. You can also make a little game of spotting all of the sports personalities that make cameos (usually silent ones, thankfully) in the film.

This isn't a comedy; it's a serious story that just happens to feature a lot of laughs. It's a commentary on the depersonalization of business, a complicated yet wonderfully sweet love story, and a movie with a surprisingly big heart. And I love Renee Zellweger. As far as I'm concerned, she not Tom Cruise was the star of this film.

This is probably one of the best performances I have seen by Tom Cruise. He portrays Jerry McGuire, a sought after sports agent, that gets a wake up call causing him to reevaluates his priorities in life. Renee Zellweger is cast as his partner and wife. She is delightful and always a joy to watch. Cuba Gooding Jr. commands attention in every scene he is in. He was very impressive in this film. Who couldn't be in love with little Jonathan Lipnicki!

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This film is definitely what I would call a feel good movie. I came away from it feeling that there are decent people in this world and that we are not all disappearing into the obscurity of just a name on a piece of paper.

The story follows Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, falling from grace working for a sports star agency when he has a flash of inspiration and takes the moral high ground on the way people should be treat within the company. His eventual rise to becoming a better person is aided from the love of woman and her son and the realization that everyone who he represents should be treated with the same respect.

The person that stole the show for me was Cuba Gooding Jr. Every scene he was in made me laugh. This was the first movie I had seen him in and thought he was a terrific actor, deserved of the Oscar he won for Best Supporting Actor. The "Show Me The Money" scene will have you in stitches.

This is not a DVD that is to be bought for it's technical qualities or abundance of extras. All you get is a static menu with no trailer, character biographies or other extras. In this day and age of DVD's like "Contact" and "The Matrix" I would have expected a bit more from a quality movie like this. The picture quality is good, as is the sound but it certainly won't tax your Dolby Digital amplifier, but then again it is not expected to.

Jerry Maguire is a film to cuddle up to your partner with and watch on a cold rainy night. It is funny, poignant and thought provoking. Worth watching at least once.


Read Best Reviews of Jerry Maguire (+ BD Live) (1996) Here

this movie is about love. The hard thing in life is to simply love, not to mete out your love in a miserly fashion, but to love hard. To love with a visceral intensity that keeps getting stronger. "I refuse to not love" is the moral of this film.

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This film spoke to me in so many ways. It was almost as if "Jerry Maguire" had been written with me in mind. From Jerry's epiphany at the start of the story through his struggle and eventual triumph over his fear of intimacy, it all seemed to be drawn from my experiences. These are the things that concern me every day.

Tom Cruise was beautiful. He showed perfect acting the whole time. It is perhaps, the finest work so far in his career. You could see every flicker of doubt and insincerity cross his face. I was laughing out loud, then crying and then so tightly happy that I forgot to breath. All of the other cast members seemed perfect as well. I particularly liked the doubting, divorced but totally caring sister Laurel. And let's not forget Dorothy's son Ray, what a little charmer.

The basic story is a simple one and yet it is fresh all the same. One of the slogans that the promoters used was, "A legend that became a man". For me, that is not a bad summary of the plot. Jerry is a highly successful sports agent who has an attack of conscience which gets him fired. He manages this rather early on in the film by writing a new mission statement entitled, "The things we think and do not say", which harks back in time to simpler days where a man's word was his bond. As one of his work mates says, "I give him a week". Sure enough, Jerry was doing a Lone Ranger in seven days. And as happens to so many of us, this disaster turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to him.

In the hectic moments as he tries tries to keep all his clients he is tied up by one rather loud and demanding footballer. In the end it is this one man who fills Jerry's client roster. Not to be daunted, Jerry strides out into the land of cubicles and coffee machines and firmly asks who would like to join him in exile.

Of course he is less than overwhelmed by the response. Just as it looks like his only colleague will be a gold fish, a young accounting clerk named Dorothy, who was inspired by Jerry's mission statement, pipes up and falteringly joins the crusade. Unfortunately she has a very young son named Ray and no other means of support. This puts Jerry under a little more pressure than he needed which is well illustrated when, before they even get out of the building's elevator, Dorothy starts enquiring about her health plan.

But in the end Jerry finds a strength he didn't know he had, an empathy he has never needed before, an integrity that used to be a handicap and finally he finds the love of his life. If you dream about finding any of these things in your own life I suggest you could do a lot worse than following Jerry's example.

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