Jerry Maguire (1996)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Jerry Maguire</strong> (1996)

(On TV, February 1999) I’m still not too sure of what to think about this film even a few days after seeing it for the first time. I get the impression of a darn good sports comedy (complete with outrageous odds, game-turning events and triumphant finish) mixed with a puzzling “realistic” romance (with less-than-honorable intentions but still a triumphant finish.) In the end, however, the uneven mix-and-match and the sometime creaky attempts at mature love story takes a second step to the movie’s biggest strength: the acting. Tom Cruise is even better than his usual good standards as a sports agent with a budding moral streak (However, -dare I ask-, is it reasonable that he would get fired for a passionate memo? Don’t think so…) but he almost disappears behind the hyper-energetic performance of Cuba Gooding Junior, who eclipses his other roles as something of a sissy-boy (see Outbreak, As Good As It Gets and What Dreams May Come) by playing an ultra-confident football player. Rene Zellweger is breath-taking while still remaining comfortably adorable; heck, even the kid is fun to watch! The script is okay and the direction is rather good. The result, as one colleague suggested, is a movie with everything for everyone: Romance for the girls and football for the guys.

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