Thursday, December 31, 2015

You Had Me at Hello

Jerry Maguire
Director: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renee Zellweger, Regina King, Jay Mohr, Bonnie Hunt, Jerry O'Connell, Kelly Preston, Jonathan Lipnicki
Released: December 13, 1996

Oscar nominations: 
Best Picture (lost to The English Patient)
Best Actor - Tom Cruise Cruise (lost to Geoffrey Rush for Shine)
Best Supporting Actor - Cuba Gooding Jr. (Won)
Best Original Screenplay - Cameron Crowe (lost to Joel and Ethan Coen for Fargo)
Best Editing (lost to The English Patient)

There's a lot going on in Jerry Maguire. This movie is two hours and a half hours and it does lag at times. Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a sports agent who works at a huge agency, Sports Management International, who represent the best and brightest in sports. He is all about his career and making sure his clients are the best at their profession and making sure they have all the endorsements to make them even more money. Jerry, narrating the movie, tells the audience that he is missing something in his life and has an epiphany. He thinks instead of all the agents taking in as many clients as they can, that they should only take a few clients so that they can have more one on one time with them and get to know them better and really understand what they need and want. He writes a 25 page "mission statement" and delivers it to all the agents at SMI. This results in him getting fired. He tries desperately to keep as many clients as he can, but loses the majority of them to a sleazy agent, Bob Sugar (Jay Mohr), who fired Jerry. Jerry manages to keep two clients: Frank Cushman (Jerry O'Connell), an up and coming star quarterback (think Tom Brady) and Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. I know nothing about football so I'm not really sure what a wide receiver does...not really sure what a quarterback does either. I also thought the cardinals were a St. Louis team...but I guess that's baseball. I didn't know there was a cardinals football team. Rod has two kids with a third on the way. He is a spokesperson for a mattress company, but his wife, Marcee (Regina King) tells Jerry that  they want Rod to have the four major advertising spots which are shoe, car, clothing line, and soft drink. That's where the big money comes in. While Jerry is on the phone with Rod, he loses all of his potential clients because they are hanging up since Bob Sugar is getting to them faster. This is the famous scene where Rod tells Jerry, "Show me the money" and Jerry screams "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" while in his office and everyone is looking at him like he's a lunatic.

"Show me the money!" is just one of the many quotable lines that help make this movie memorable. We also remember the more sappy, "You had me at hello" and "You complete me." (The "You complete me" line was a call back to when Jerry and Dorothy are in the elevator with a deaf couple who are signing to each other, and Dorothy, who knows sign language, tells Jerry that the guy had signed "You complete me" to his girlfriend). And there's also "Help me help you" and "Did you know that the human head weighs eight pounds?" This is the movie where everybody in the world learned (and still remembers!) that fact.

The "romance" between Jerry and Dorothy (Renee Zellweger...I think it's fair to say that this is the movie that helped launch her career) is interesting at best. At the start of the movie, he is engaged to another woman (Kelly Preston). Dorothy works as a secretary (I think?) at SMI and has a crush on Jerry. She read his "mission statement" and tells him she liked what she read and believes in him. When he is fired and leaves the company, Jerry asks if anybody is going to join him and like an idiot, Dorothy tells him that she'll go with him. I don't know if this is suppose to be romantic, but I thought she was really stupid for doing that. Okay, she probably doesn't get paid much at this job, but it's better than going somewhere where you'll get paid less...or more likely, nothing at all. (I never did understand exactly how that worked...did Jerry ever pay her out of his pocket?) She has a six year old son, why is she leaving this place that at least gives her health benefits? And, at this time, she knows Jerry is engaged to another woman. But over time Jerry and Dorothy become close and Dorothy is thrilled that her son, Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki), really likes Jerry and almost treats him like a dad. In a way, I think Dorothy was looking more for a father for her son than a husband for herself. It's good she was looking out for her kid, but it's almost as soon as she saw Jerry and Ray bond, she wanted it to make it work with Jerry so her son could have a father who really cared for him. It's even obvious that Jerry prefers Ray over Dorothy because there's a scene where they're in bed with the TV on and Dorothy is trying to talk to Jerry about something important and Ray comes in asking if he can watch TV with them. Dorothy says, "Not now", but Jerry says, "Sure, come on in." And the kid comes in. Oh, I should mention that Jerry broke up with his fiance and married Dorothy after they go out on, like, one date. I did love it when Dorothy's sister, Laurel (Bonnie Hunt), gives her the advice of, "Don't cry at the start of the date...cry at the end like I do." Haha! Because Dorothy was crying because she just so overwhelmed with happiness. 

Jerry has had many girlfriends. While he's great at friendship, he is horrible with intimacy. No wonder he and Dorothy break it off about a week after they got married (when they had only known each other for two weeks prior...gee no wonder it didn't work out! And I had no idea how much time had passed in this movie!) 

This was my third time seeing the movie. It had been quite awhile since I'd last seen it. I remember enjoying it the first time I saw it. I don't really remember the second was probably on TV and I was just casually watching it. But this time, I was kinda bored. There were still some enjoyable moments (like the one when Rod is in a public place (the airport, I think?) and two girls come up to him thinking he's Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish!), but mostly I was wondering when it was going to end. I remember thinking how cute Ray was the first time I saw it, but now I just found him too saccharine. He was just there to be cute and sprout useless information. And help Dorothy score a man. I found myself more invested and interested in the Jerry and Rod relationship rather than the Jerry and Dorothy one. I totally cringed at the scene where Dorothy is talking to Laurel in the kitchen after Jerry has spent the night and is babbling on about how much she loves him and she "loves him for the man he wants to be and the man he almost is!" and, of course, Jerry is in the hall eavesdropping on them and Ray says really loudly, "Hi Jerry!" Well, what was she thinking? He was in the house. Why not wait to tell her sister AFTER he is gone. Duh. Dorothy may be the "oldest 26 year old" as she calls herself, but she's also the dumbest! 

As for Cameron Crowe movies, I prefer Almost Famous to this one. 

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