|legeros.com > Movie Hell > 1996 > Reviews|
It's a talented filmmaker who can turn off the Cruise control, but writer/director Cameron Crowe (SAY ANYTHING, SINGLES) does just that in this funny and refreshingly frank romantic comedy. In one of the better roles of his career, Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a high-powered sports agent who has a change of heart, gets fired, and is forced to practice what he now preaches as his own employee. (One night, after spontaneously developing a conscience, Jerry drafts a 27-page Mission Statement on the subject of integrity. His employer thinks his Mission impossible and, one week later, Jerry Maguire is toast.) He leaves the agency with an accountant, a young, single mother (the charming, but rather one-dimensional Renee Zellweger) who is so inspired by Jerry's principles that she walks out the door with him. Together, they set up shop and begin- ning directing their energies on a couple remaining clients, while, of course, falling in love. Or so we think. One of the strengths of Cameron Crowe's writing is that his script is populated with real, believable people in real, believable relationships. Thus, and like life itself, the story takes several unusual and unexpected turns, one of which explores the reality of what happens when a lonely guy meets a desperate girl. Not exactly your standard formula for romance and that makes JERRY MAGUIRE all the more rewarding. Sure, there are other reasons to appreciate this movie: Crowe's offbeat direction, a hilarious morning-after sequence that's one of many big laughs, Bonnie Hunt as the cynical older sister/divorcee, Cruise's chemistry with child actor Jonathan Lipnicki, screen sex that's actually sexy, and a scene-stealing Cuba Gooding, Jr. (OUTBREAK, BOYZ N THE HOOD) as the sassy, second- tier football player who helps Jerry get back in the game. Go see it. (Rated "R"/135 min.) Grade: B+ Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros
Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: December 15, 1996.