Jerry Maguire (1996)

The real d-bags, behind the other real d-bags.

After years of successfully navigating the shark-infested waters of sports management, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) experiences a crisis of conscience and leaves his high-powered job behind, with one loyal football client (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and a starry-eyed co-worker (Renée Zellweger) in tow.

Jerry Maguire is a film that I see all over the world, is quoted all the time. Lines like: “Show me the money“, or “You had me at hello“, are phrases that never go away. So I finally get to see what all the quoting is about, and what do you know, there are reasons for this to be quoted non-stop.

The main reason this film works is because it is covering a lot of ground, but yet does not seem to get lost in all of it. Wonderful writer/director Cameron Crowe, who has great films like Say Anything…., and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, blends a wonderful deal of almost of almost everything for all to like. The humor in this film starts off strong, and does start to fall by the last act, but its witty appeal in the first 2 acts, is what makes it fun. The romance is even better, as it gives us a romance that at first doesn’t look like its going to happen, but somehow the script makes you have faith in it, and your cheering for it to work. Also, the overall sports element, that will have all dudes from around the world happy. We never get a huge picture on the world of sports like the other two elements, however, we still see what happens behind all these big-time athletes and what goes into them being big stars, and how much effort it really is. Crowe makes this film have a lot of likability, and most of that is due to the heart-warming feel, the film gives off.

However, I still feel like the editing was a bit flawed. It almost feels as if there are two films in here: one about the cut-throat operation of sports agents, and another one about the romance between two lost souls in a way. Both stories could have been made into completely separate films, and although it isn’t a huge flaw, I still feel the sports agent story could have been brought on more. Also, the romance between Cruise and Zellweger does feel a bit rushed and pushed into the viewers face, but I mean it works, obviously. But you can see they rushed into it, and may not be the best couple which kind of ruined the overall appeal of the romance for me, but not that much.

Tom Cruise gets a lot of crap for playing total jackasses like Jerry Maguire, but hey, he fits the role. Jerry is a deuche, and cares a bit too much about his job, and the chicks he bones (what else did you expect, it’s a Tom Cruise film), but by the end, he starts to go through a transition that is overall believable. Also, his charm is what adds a lot more to the likability of the character, so we’re not just stuck there watching a total ass, be big, rich, and have happiness. I hate how people will always be talking ish on Cuba Gooding Jr., saying he didn’t deserve the Best Supporting Actor win, but compared to him and Ed Norton‘s performance in Primal Fear, he is great. He is funny, and adds a lot of spunk to his character, that isn’t just because all black men are funny, but you can tell this guy is trying his hardest to be the next big thing in football, and its kind of great to see the chemistry between him and Cruise, cause they may seem so opposite, but they both share one love, money. It sucks that he isn’t doing crap, other than shitty straight-to-dvd movies, but he’s bound for a come back. I just know it! I have faith in you Cuba!! Renée Zellweger has never really been my favorite actress, but she gives out a breakthrough performance here, and gives us that cuteness she always does so well, and would help her later in life.

Consensus: Jerry Maguire may get caught up a bit too much, but blends a great deal of romance, sports, and witty comedy, backed by great performances from the cast, to create a likable, romantic dramedy helmed by great Cameron Crowe.



  1. You really do rate this movie very highly. Though I’m not really much for mushy romantic comedies and crowd pleasers, I must give it to you that Jerry Maguire is reasonably enjoyable despite its cheesy plot.

    And yes, Tom Cruise does happen to be one of the few salvaging aspects of the film. His superstar personality befit the role of the titular character. Cuba Gooding Jr. was also good though I don’t think he was anywhere as brilliant as Edward Norton in Primal Fear.

    Nice review though!

  2. I like Jerry Maguire. Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger are greta together – it’s sweet without being overly sentimental. Great soundtrack too.

  3. Hard not to like this movie and Cameron Crowe writes wonderful screenplays (though “you complete me” is taken right from a Joni Mitchell song who Crowe loves). I do disagree about the editing though. Yes, there are two different movies going on, but I think they do a nice job with blending the two together. Good point about Cruise playing these types of roles…he fits, so use him. And he was very good in it. Renee is very hard to watch, but here, she is actually pass-able.

  4. Love this movie too and glad to see that you’ve give it high marks. I would have to agree with Peter, I think the two different aspects of the movie, the sport and the romance aspect do blend well together and I guess it keeps everyone happy!

  5. It has it’s level of cheesiness but it’s a damn enjoyable movie with great performances and really just a movie that makes you feel good at the end without feeling manipulated.

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