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Synopsis

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.

MovieGuy Review

Cameron Crowe had a few successes prior to "Jerry Maguire", including writing "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and writing/directing the popular teen romantic comedy "Say Anything", but it was "Jerry Maguire" that cemented him as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. I really didn't know much about Cameron Crowe when this movie was released in 1996, but Tome Cruise, a well-designed trailer and a powerful "Bruce Springsteen" track "Secret Garden" enticed me into paying to go see this film. And, I was definitely not disappointed.

This kind of movie is right up my alley. Crowe did a great job of combining sports, comedy, romance and drama into a story that kept me entertained from start to finish. Anytime a story includes an effective dose of inspiration, I'm a goner. There have been many times in my life where I had to make a tough choice that was unpopular with the majority and I know first hand how lonely that position can be. I love how Crowe tackled a controversial topic within professional sports and used it to inspire me and convince me to root for the main characters. I know it's cliche, but like most people, I'm usually hoping for a happy ending and I was certainly pulling for Jerry, his business partner Dorothy and their sole client Rod.

I think Tom Cruise turned in a strong performance as Jerry Maguire and it was a big reason why I enjoyed this movie. Renee Zellweger also showed herself capable of pulling off the leading lady challenge. But, it was really Cuba Gooding, Jr. (as NFL wide receiver Rod Tidwell) and young Jonathan Lipnicki (Zellweger's toddler son) that really stole the show. Both of them dominated the screen whenever they were in a scene. Both of them added most of the comic relief in this movie. And, both of them probably registered the best performances of their careers in this movie. Cuba won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1997 for this role, but I don't think anything he did after "Jerry Maguire" came remotely close to his magical performance in this movie. Nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, we peak early in our careers and we should consider ourselves lucky that we ever even burned that bright. There are a few other performances I'd like to make mention of...nothing stellar, but noteworthy performances that have stuck in my mind over the years. Jay Mohr as Maguire's former protege and nemesis agent Bob Sugar, Regina King as Tidwell's wife and Bonnie Hunt as Zellweger's on screen protective older sister Laurel. The cast in this picture was a major part of its magic and my hat is off to Casting Director Gail Levin for bringing them all together.

I can't believe this movie is 22 years old now. I was so young when I first saw it at the theater. Tonight, I watched it again (probably for the eighth time) with my wife and 12-year-old son (I know...probably a bit mature for the 12-year-old) and I loved it almost as much as the first time. If you like sports themed movies and romantic comedies, you will definitely like this movie, and I have NO problem recommending it to anyone looking to spend two hours getting inspired and entertained.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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