Jerry Maguire

1996, Movie, R, 135 mins


A meandering and deeply shallow tale of spiritual redemption, built around the Teflon persona of Tom Cruise and driven by the conviction that all emotions worth expressing can be summed up in pop songs. Jerry Maguire (Cruise) is a high-powered sports agent, cast from corporate grace after a late-night crisis of conscience inspires him to write an ill-considered memo decrying the greedy, debased ways of the business. He loses his ruthless fiancee, takes up with a young mother (Renee Zellweger), whose naivete verges on idiocy, and oversees the career resurrection of Ron Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a second-string football player with an attitude problem. For a movie hell-bent on condemning the culture of insincerity, cynicism and shallowness, it spends a lot of time trying to make us feel bad for the relentlessly shallow, insincere Maguire. Another actor might have revealed the soul behind Maguire's china blue eyes, but Cruise is all blinding teeth and sunglasses, and Gooding effortlessly steals every scene they share. Maguire's great moment of truth -- in which he rescues his true love from an encounter group for divorced harpies -- falls flat, while Tidwell's is a genuine eruption of conflicting and authentic-feeling emotions. leave a comment

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