139 minutes | Rated: R
Opened: Friday, December 13, 1996
Written & directed by Cameron Crowe
Starring Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger, Cuba Gooding Jr., Kelly Preston, Jerry O'Connell, Jay Mohr, Bonnie Hunt, Regina King, Jonathan Lipnicki, Beau Bridges (uncredited)
Cameo: Eric Stoltz, Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford, Drew Bledsoe, Troy Aikman, Katarina Witt, Warren Moon & various other sports figures
SMALL SCREEN SHRINKAGE: 5%|
LETTERBOX: COULDN'T HURT
One of the easiest transtions to the small screen ever. The film loses nothing. And, by the way, I underrated the movie -- and Gooding's performance -- in this review.
DVD SPECIAL EDITON RELEASE:
Commentary track with Crowe, Cruise, Zellweger and Gooding is wholly entertaining on its own. Recorded in late 2001, these four are having a ball watching the movie for the first time in years. That kind of thing is always far more interesting on a commentary than listening to people only a few months after the shoot. Even cooler, you can listen to the commentary while watching the movie on disc 1 or watch the cast & Crowe in the commentary session, which was filmed, while the movie plays picture-in-picture. Outtakes w/ commentary include a 5m, complete take of Jay Mohr ad-libbing the rotating phone calls scene that's amazing.|
OTHER NOTABLE BONUS MATERIAL
The entire text of Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement that gets the whole movie rolling (it surprisingly long and meandering). Lame pay-cable making-of featurette. Video of a real sports agent explaining how his life works that's so close to what you see in the movie, it's scary. Trailer. Plus: Keep an eye out for easter eggs. There's one that's 5m of videotape behind-the-scenes at the commentary recording session.
1.85:1 ratio; Dolby 5.1, 2.0
DUBS: Spanish, Portuguese
SUBS: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
Excellent, except for trailer
DVD RATING: ***
Director, cast shine in 'Jerry Maguire,' a beautifully-drawn romantic comedy about a sports agent finding his soul
Here is a remarkable exception to the proven principle that all movies with any scene taking place at a football game are stinkers.
"Jerry Maguire," which at first glance looks like nothing more than another respectability vehicle for Tom Cruise, is in fact a fetching romance with surprising depth about a man who trades in his voracious corporate job as a profit-driven sports agent because he's sick of being "just another shark in a suit."
Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, it is the more mature evolution of his earlier efforts, "Say Anything" and "Singles," that sets its emotional tone with the opening narration. "I hate my place in the world," Jerry (Cruise) says as he recounts being fired for suggesting in a company-wide memo that his firm focus more on the clients and less on the bank book.
It is a catalyst for significant change in his life, but more true to real life than most pictures, things change around him while he stays much the same -- a hard-nosed, soft-hearted egoist who has some inspired moments.
But didn't I say it was a romance? Enter Dorothy (Renee Zellweger), a pretty (very pretty!) young widowed mom and the only employee to join him as he tried to turn his dismissal into a dramatic show of principle.
She holds his hand as he steps off the corporate cliff and holds his head when he recognizes what he's put himself in for. They fall toward each other at first for reasons other than love -- he because he's feeling an obligation to her, she because of her maternal instincts. They marry quickly and soon are taking a step back and wondering what they've done.
The marriage is uncomfortable while Jerry works out who he wants to be, but there is little exploration of their troubles and thus the film stalls for a reel because it doesn't ask why.
But "Jerry Maguire" is driven by emotions, some bottled up and some worn on sleeves, and this short lapse in the script is patched by venerable performances that carry the film through the rough spots.
Cruise shows again a dramatic ability that he's rarely given credit for. The enchanting Zellweger, who until this year has starred only in drive-in grade movies, is remarkable and nearly steals the movie from Cruise (as does 6-year-old Jonathan Lipnicki who plays her son). Bonnie Hunt and Kelly Preston, as Dorothy's sister and Jerry's ex, add welcome comic moments.
And while Cuba Gooding Jr. seems to have gotten off Crowe's leash and gives a rabid showing as Jerry's one loyal client, he can't derail what is an inspired step up in honesty of emotion from the average feel-good date movie.