dawguga - wrote on 11/10/08
Jerry Maguire Review
By Benjamin Hampton
The movie Jerry Maguire reaches out to many audiences since it incorporates comedy and sports into a romantic drama filled with life lessons. Personally, I have two different views of the movie. When I was younger, I enjoyed the many comical interactions between some of the actors and especially the funny mannerisms of Ray, a young boy. Now, as I have matured, I understand the movie has a deeper meaning, which relates to issues that people face in everyday life. Jerry Maguire is an entertaining movie because it contains relevant lessons about life, evokes feelings, and the characters evolve for the better as the plot unfolds.
Many of the characters in Jerry Maguire change for the better, which makes this movie heartwarming. Director Cameron Crowe selected the perfect actors to portray each character. Jerry Maguire, who is played by actor Tom Cruise, becomes disgusted with his job as a sports agent because his client relationships are superficial and based solely on money. During an emotional low, Jerry writes a mission statement about the importance of having a different kind of affiliation with his company’s clients and distributes this at work. Of course, he soon gets fired and must start over rebuilding his career. This is a very difficult task because he only has a single client, Rod Tidwell. Although he is essentially broke, Jerry continues persevering and eventually becomes successful again. By being sincere in his relationship with Rod, Jerry reaches his renewed success the right way. Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays the role of Rod Tidwell, a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. In contrast to Jerry, Rod is successful in his personal life. His marriage to Marcee is ideal and serves as a model for Jerry. However, Rod never gets the money or attention he thinks he deserves as a football player. With Jerry’s help, Rod realizes that he has to play from the heart. Finding the youthful passion he had for football allows him to come full circle with success at home and at work. Rod and Jerry are opposites of each other. Jerry is very lonely although he had the success of a high profile career, which he views as superficial. Rod seeks to gain that prosperity in order to provide generously for his family. Jerry longs for a meaningful relationship like Rod already has with his wife and family. Through their jobs and friendship, they open each other’s eyes to the changes that have to take place in order to find happiness. Another transformed character is Dorothy Boyd who is played by actress Rene Zellwenger. Dorothy is quiet and unassertive, but she does choose to leave her job because she believes in Jerry’s mission statement. She finds herself falling in love with him and in a weak moment marries Jerry. Quickly, she realizes that he definitely loves her son but maybe only likes her. Finding her inner strength, Dorothy confronts Jerry regarding their marriage. This shows a transformation in her from always trying to keep others happy to being true to herself and demanding her own happiness. The pleasant and entertaining quality of this movie is created by the positive changes these characters make in their lives.
Jerry Maguire illustrates many basic lessons about life. The transformations that the characters make throughout the movie reveal this idea. The main theme of this movie is that people should focus on their priorities. Although it is not wrong to pursue financial success, family values and personal relationships should always come first. Jerry and Rod are able to obtain both of these because of their relationship with each other. Jerry sees what Rod has with Marcee and finally develops a meaningful relationship with others. Rod desires what Jerry had in regards to a successful career and was able to achieve this through his relationship with Jerry. The honesty in Rod and Jerry’s friendship make it possible for them to obtain happiness. Friendships must always be based on honesty. Another lesson that can be learned from this movie is that a person should not conform to the desire of others if he or she does not agree with them. For instance, Dorothy stands up for her relationship with Jerry despite the urging of her sister to end it. Dorothy follows her heart because she believes in Jerry. In addition, Jerry shows us that having the courage to make changes in your life if you are not happy can be worthwhile. Realizing that his job was superficial and that he had become unhappy caused him to make a big change, which brought him peace of mind and happiness. These simple lessons about life are what make this movie amazingly real and relevant to any moviegoer.
Jerry Maguire is delightful because it evokes emotions with ease. Many different emotions are felt due to the special chemistry between the actors, and the music, which serves as a backdrop of emotions. This movie arouses an array of emotions from sadness to happiness and from disappointment to triumph. For example, Rod seems to always be disappointed in the fact that he does not get any attention from the media. When Jerry lands an unbelievable contract for him, Rod becomes joyful and proud of his triumph. The remarkable level of energy and enthusiasm Rod exhibits helps the viewer share in his excitement. Sadness is felt as Dorothy realizes Jerry may not love her. “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen is playing during this scene. This song is extremely evocative, and the lyrics are a perfect fit for this tender moment. Numerous scenes with Jerry and Ray give rise to laughter mostly because of Ray’s cuteness. It is obvious that this movie can keep the attention of a moviegoer with its changing of emotions from one relationship to another.
Many reviews of Jerry Maguire are in agreement that the success of this movie is the emphasis on personal relationships and the developing character roles played by an outstanding cast of actors. In fact, Cuba Gooding Jr., received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Jerry Maguire. This movie is a heavyweight compared to similar movies like Spanglish and Bull Durham. All of these movies focus on the transformations of the main characters and personal relationships. However, these other movies do not possess the energy and realness of Jerry Maguire. Anyone that watches this movie will remember the phrase “Show me the money!” Jerry screams this phrase back to Rod over the phone numerous times. Although this is comical, it symbolizes the empty values of those people Jerry worked for at the beginning of the movie. Jerry and Rod realize that family and meaningful relationships are more important than money. Dorothy and Marcee, on the other hand, always knew this fact from the beginning. Jerry Maguire is a worthwhile movie that can be enjoyed over and over.