USA | 1996 | 139 minutes | 14A
When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Director: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rene Zellweger, Regina King
Jerry Maguire is simply a great movie. It’s a sports industry film that looks at different kinds of love. It asks the question: what happens when you put personal relationships first? The Oscar-nominated script by director Cameron Crowe is tight, with snappy dialogue that has much more than “Show me the money” and “You complete me”. It’s also romantic, touching, and funny. The score, by Heart’s Nancy Wilson, is sophisticated and inspiring. The soundtrack is stacked, and I’d expect nothing less from Crowe, a former Rolling Stone Magazine writer and the screenwriter of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Almost Famous and Say Anything. It includes Bob Dylan, The Who, Paul McCartney, Aimee Mann, Elvis and of course Bruce Springsteen’s Secret Garden, which he wrote for the film; the needle drop is magically laid into the visuals, creating one of those scenes that stay in your heart.
Jerry Maguire is one of the best ensemble movies of its time, though the title would suggest otherwise. Cuba Gooding Jr. would walk away with an Oscar for it. Rene Zellweger jumps off the screen, changing the trajectory of her career and opening the door to two future Oscars. Regina King, another future Oscar winner, steals every scene she’s in. Many others round out this formidable film, including the late Kelly Preston.
And then, of course, there’s Tom Cruise. Cruise gives one of his best performances in his discerning filmography. I miss this, Tom Cruise. Maybe you miss this era, too, or have never seen him this way. I feel I must remind you that he wasn’t always jumping out of planes for our entertainment. Like Jerry says to Rod Tidwell: “you’re fast, fierce and wildly charismatic”—and that’s the way I feel about the film and its lead. – VANYA GARRAWAY
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