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A positive review of the film, Jerry Maguire.

Jerry Maguire If you want to take a break from the frigid air of a Montreal winter, go to see Jerry Maguire; it will be sure to warm your heart. If you’re like me, you’re a little tired of going to see big name stars in overly hyped, big time busts. Combine that with the fact that sports movies are rarely impressive, (Necessary Roughness?!? The Program?!?) and I have to say that my hopes were not too high for this movie. Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. The title character, played by Tom Cruise, is a sports agent at the top of his business, and at the bottom of humanity. He works for Sports Management International as a ruthless devil procuring the largest contracts and endorsement deals he can muster, at the expense of personal well-being and old-fashioned love of the game. The movie begins when one night, in a fit of passion, he has a revelation and writes a mission statement about how the business can be altered to include humanity. His plan focuses on reducing the number of clients to produce higher quality relationships with them. He then distributes it to all his colleagues before realizing what a big mistake he made. His boss fires him promptly. Only one client out of his previous 72, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), remains faithful. Ironically enough, his only concern is money. Only one former colleague, Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger), joins Jerry when he forms a new company. His memo inspired her. Her five-year-old son, Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki), develops a huge crush on Jerry and is the deciding factor in convincing Jerry to marry Dorothy on impulse after he breaks up with his fiance, Avery (Kelly Preston). The movie tracks the trials of his relationship with Dorothy, and Rod’s ascent to stardom. Jerry is not a typical role for Tom Cruise. He’s accustomed to playing, and we’re used to seeing him in, macho, heroic type roles, (Mission Impossible, A Few Good Men, Days of Thunder etc. . .). In this movie he plays a loser, and I would call it his best performance yet. He really has to do some serious acting, and he renders his part brilliantly. Another huge surprise in this movie was newcomer Renee Zellweger. Part of her succcess in this movie, is rooted in her relative anonymity. Had her character been played by a big name actress, like a Gweneth Paltrow or Sara Jessica Parker, the movie wouldn’t have been the same. She is perfectly suited to the struggling, single mother role that she plays. In addition, she carries off the love scenes that Cruise seems to have a little trouble with. I can’t say enough about Cuba Gooding Jr. I first spotted him in Outbreak, and his performance in Jerry Maguire has furthered my contention that this guy is destined for stardom. He brings life, action, humour, and charisma to the movie. This guy can be anything he wants to be. I’d keep an eye out for him in the future. Rounding out the cast: Bonnie Hunt (Jumanji, Beethhoven). She plays Dorothy’s cynical, divorcee older sister. Her down to earth personality and skepticism perfectly contrast Dorothy’s wholesome idealism and optimism. Next is Johnathon Lipnicki, Dorothy’s kid. The sugar factor on this five-year-old is off the scales; he’s a teaspoon too cute, but his scene stealing antics and expressions are used in perfect moderation. Regina King plays Tidwell’s wife, and pulls off the tender, amourous scenes of young love with perfection. Some credit must go to director Cameron Crow (Singles) for some some great camera work. You can’t help but notice, as a viewer, the expressions and moods caught on tape. These instances had to be captured at precise moments. They make a zealous impact on the movie. I think I’ve done enough raving about Jerry Maguire. Listen, this movie won’t win any Oscars, it’s not that kind of movie, but it’s a heartwarming tale with great people to bring out its full potential. It’s a realistic plot that we can all relate to; that’s a rarity these days.

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