As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a successful sports agent. The biggest clients, the respect, a beautiful fiancée, he has it all. Until one night he questions his purpose. His place in the world, and finally comes to terms with what's wrong with his career and life. Recording all his thoughts in a mission statement Jerry feels he has a new lease on life. Unfortunately his opinions aren't met with enthusiasm from his superiors and after dishonorably being stripped of his high earning clients and elite status within the agency Jerry steps out into the sports business armed with only one volatile client (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and the only person with belief in his abilities (Renée Zellweger) with the impossible task of rebuilding what he once had. Along the way he faces the harsh truths which he'd ignored in the past and a host of hardships that he'd never faced before. Written by
It's all well and good to stroll through life with a healthy air of scepticism, but despite some peoples' views on these supposedly 'manipulative' romantic films, there are an elite few that really do have things to say based on something more noble than ticket sales - things that are actually worth listening to.
Jerry Maguire is one of these rare beasts. No, it's not perfect, and no, it doesn't ring true for every last second of its running time, but if you come away from it with a sneer rather than a genuine desire to take a step back and look at yourself, then there's no romance in your soul at all. It's a genre that's always been particularly susceptible to the flood of lacklustre money-spinners, so to come across something that's had so much visible thought and effort thrown into it from all corners is a revelation. I'm not naive enough to think that anything making it big in the film industry these days can be purely a labour of love, but Jerry Maguire at least comes close.
It's refreshing to see Tom Cruise demonstrate that, against all odds, he can act his heart out when given the right role, as can Cuba Gooding Jr. (neither of them better previously or since) - and the rest of the cast give it every bit as much passion. It's beautifully written, and shot with an easy style that makes me wish there were more directors like Cameron Crowe in this world.
And on top of that, it gets better with each viewing. Even the soundtrack feels as if weeks have been spent fine-tuning it to perfection, and I'm no fan of Springsteen or Tom Petty. Deride it if you like, I'm not saying that Jerry Maguire's totally free of sentiment... I'm just suggesting that it's not necessarily a bad thing to have your heartstrings tugged and your self-awareness questioned once in a while.
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