Updated: October 25, 2020 12:50:51 pm
1996 was an exciting year for Tom Cruise. The Hollywood superstar had two releases, both in different genres — Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire. He also turned a producer in the same year, bankrolling the first installment of a now-widely successful franchise (the MI series). While Mission: Impossible grabbed eyeballs for its innovative, breathtaking stunt choreography, Jerry Maguire earned Tom Cruise an Oscar nomination in the Best Actor category.
But we are here to talk about Jerry Maguire today. The film revolved around a failing sports agent (Tom Cruise), his co-worker (Renee Zellweger) and their lone, naive client, played by Cuba Gooding Jr. After Tom’s Jerry Maguire gets kicked off from his organisation, he starts his firm with the only employee who is willing to work with him, Renee’s Dorothy, a single mother. Together they are able to rope in their first client, a goofy but somewhat sad sports athlete Rodney Tidwell. The challenges they face is what moves the story forward.
The Cameron Crowe directorial was an interesting change of pace for Tom Cruise. Jerry Maguire was a mish-mash of a few select genres, including romance, comedy and sports. And what made it such a winner upon its release was its treatment of those genres. It was a smoothly blended cocktail of a human being’s primary emotions — anger, love and joy. The writing by Crowe was succinct but sensitive. It had also had pure moments of laughter. Example in case — whenever the now-disgraced Cuba Gooding Jr took over. The actor was the living embodiment of a passionate, ignorant football player. An act that won him the Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Before I rewatched Jerry Maguire, I had forgotten that Cruise is more than just a running machine, performing insane stunts atop scary heights. That as a character, he could give his viewers so much. Not only a sense of relatability as a working professional, but the happiness he instilled while interacting with child actor Jonathan Lipnicki. And there was love; complicated, but still innocent, that Jerry had for Dorothy. Renee Zellweger was lovely, charming and wholesome as Dorothy. Tom and Renee shared a great chemistry which bounced off the screen almost immediately. Yes, it is a good-looking dramedy about good-looking people. But those people are human too. They suffer from fear, from loss and from pain as much as the next person. And it is this point that Crowe reinforces fantastically throughout the duration of the film.
Not only did Jerry Maguire earn big bucks at the box office and garner critical acclaim, it also birthed a rich legacy of ‘quotable quotes.’ From its “You complete me,” “You had me at hello” to “Show me the money!,” the Cameron Crowe directorial has cemented its place in pop-culture consciousness. Not a bad gift to cinema. Not at all.
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Jerry Maguire is available to stream on YouTube.
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