Thursday, March 26, 2009

88. Jerry Maguire



Jerry Maguire (1996)
Directed by Cameron Crowe

One of the few romantic comedies that you will find on my list; Jerry Maguire is a fun story featuring some extremely likeable and unique characters. What makes this particular romantic comedy different from the many that I typically dislike is the fact while being a romantic comedy at heart; it really doesn’t play like one at all.

The typical romantic comedy formula is eschewed in Jerry Maguire for kind of an oddball plotline that takes a few unexpected turns and then U-turns. Sure there is still the meet cute and courting process, as well as the woman sidekick with support and suspicion, but there seems to be a willingness to move past such conventions and strike some seriously deep material.

Thankfully, there is no sequence where Jerry is suspected of cheating or something is just misconstrued leading to faux romantic comedy breakup before the happy ending. Instead, Cameron Crowe gives us real insight into the heart of our characters. After the initial wedding (when most films would’ve ended), Jerry is still learning how to truly value Dorothy and the film doesn’t give Jerry an easy ending.

In the end, I liked the parallel between marriage and the sports agent industry. It’s not until Jerry learns true humility and truly what it means to hang in with someone, care for them, desire the best for them, does the film allow him success in either areas. The film is helped enormously by a great performance by Tom Cruise, definitely one of his greatest.

All that and I haven’t even mentioned all the great scenes, quotable lines, and fantastic supporting roles (Cuba Gooding Jr. deserved every bit of his Oscar) that fill out this truly satisfying film. All in all, this is a great story with a great central character with some truly great insight. All reasons I wouldn’t want to do without it.




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