Movie of the Week: Jerry Maguire (1996)

Cameron Crowe directs Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Renée Zellweger in this romantic comedy / sports movie where a slick agent has a change of heart and finds himself with only one client; an egomaniacal football player.

If I pitched you Jerry Maguire you’d think I was crazy. You need to care about a sports executive who writes a career-damaging memo for almost three hours. Yet thanks to its whipsmart dialogue, a litany of career best performances (some of them genuine outliers never to be repeated) and Crowe’s acerbic yet sweet sensibilities it emerges as a one of a kind entertainment masterpiece. You can tell Rolling Stone journalist Crowe fully immersed himself into this world before sitting at his word processor. Yet his strength lies in his wit and playfulness. Like Billy Wilder at his finest, every scene sidesteps your expectations, a disruption means you are never actually given what you expect but each moment somehow still flows with a warm, natural energy. There’s so much plot covered here that I doubt three premium telly seasons could do quite so much quite so well, yet each journey reaches a definitive end by the wrap up. Not many other movies have attempted to combine the business of sports with heart on its sleeve romance before (and for good reason) but this unique beast really manages to pull off an intimacy in both fields with neither sub-genre ever feeling like it tips the balance. Epic soundtrack. Tom pushing himself to be his very best. We know he can do a cocky bastard but the desperation he plumbs here is astounding given his stock roles before. And multiple killer quotes that have survived three decades almost. My mum and I went to see this together on release and she still shouts “Show me the money” down the phone at me to this day. But really what this has is “The Quan”! I flat out love Jerry Maguire and it harks back to an age where a great script and the perfect star could make the entire world rush out and watch a movie that wasn’t a sequel / franchise / reboot.

10

Perfect Double Bill: Moneyball (2011)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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