Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Audio commentary with Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renee Zellwegger and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Disc Two: Video commentary with Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise, Renee Zellwegger and Cuba Gooding, Jr; Making of featurette; The 'Real' Jerry Maguire (sports agent Drew Rosehaus) featurette; Deleted scenes and rehearsal footage; Bruce Springsteen 'Secret Garden' music video; TV spot from Jerry Maguire; Jerry Maguire's mission statement; Screenplay; Photo gallery; Filmographies; Theatrical trailer.
ONE of the feelgood movies of its time, Jerry Maguire marked the first pairing of Tom Cruise and director Cameron Crowe (before Vanilla Sky) and, contrary to some criticisms, it is a shamelessly sentimental, supremely well written joyride through life, love and consumerism.
Cruise stars as wildly successful sports agent, Jerry Maguire, who suddenly
inherits a conscience and writes a mission statement suggesting that his company
should opt for fewer clients and a more caring approach. The memo, while applauded
by some, causes him to be fired and he sets out on his own to prove the corporations
wrong, with only a doting single mum (Renee Zellweger) and a loud-mouth footballer
(his only client, played with relish by Cuba Gooding Jnr) for support.
The subsequent journey sees Cruise lose himself and find himself, as he struggles to come to terms with a newfound maturity, the responsibility of being in a relationship, and the difficulty of starting a business in a world dominated by money-making corporations.
And while the ending is never really in doubt, there is plenty of fun to be had in getting there - not least because of Crowe's ability to write great stories, as well as its many fine performances.
Cruise is in commanding form; at times angst-ridden, at others arrogant, but always somehow likeable, even when manipulating Zellweger's adoring mother, while Zellweger herself is a revelation in what proved to be her breakthrough role. She may be a little too forgiving at times, but her quiety desperate mother is extremely well realised and easy to fall in love with.
Of the support players (which include Jay Mohr as a slimy rival agent and Kelly Preston as a bitchy ex-love), young Jonathan Lipnikci succeeds in putting the cute back into young child stars, while Gooding Jnr is, quite simply, a revelation, shamelessly hogging every scene he is a part of and walking off with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar to boot.
His egotistical footballer, who carries a chip on his shoulder the size of the Empire State Building, is a delight and his chemistry with Cruise is amazing - the film is at its most electric when the two stars share screen time, while Tidwell's big moment is guaranteed to put a smile on even the hardest face.
The movie may be somewhat overloaded with diatribes against money-fixated businesses and the fine line between success and failure (as perceived by the consumer-fixated society), but it still has the good grace to poke fun at itself and is so well played that it can be forgiven its tendency to pull at the heart-strings - highlights include Maguire's painful 'show me the money' humiliation, his drunken attempt to crack on to Zellweger and his first attempt to offer a naked Tidwell a new contract in a locker room.
For entertainment value alone, this kicks most other romantic comedies well into touch and is agreat way to unwind at the end of any stressful day.