Cameron Crowe is at times a great writer/director. He's only directed six movies, and two of them I think are outstanding (Almost Famous, Say Anything).
I never understood the mass hysteria that was garnered when 'Jerry Maguire' was released. Critics and audiences were hailing it as a great romantic comedy that was sharply written. The movie was a whopping success at the box office. Tom Cruise was even nominated for an Oscar, cause I guess the academy thought him playing a romantic lead in hammed screenplay was a real stretch. For months people were subjected to the ridiculous "show me the money" catch phrase made famous by Cuba Gooding Jr.
The movie has it's good points as it can be funny and at times touching, but really it turned out to be a huge Reebok commercial. Product endorsements were thrust upon the audience at a furious pace while the movie kept trying to beat into our heads the idea that big money was really taking the life out of athletes and consequently the sport. Kind of ironic that at the end of the film the whinny brat that is Cuba Gooding Jr's character suddenly got a huge contract after he set aside his selfish ways and learned to enjoy the sport many dream of playing.
This was the main problem I had with the movie. Here I am supposed to feel sorry for an athlete who's constantly bitching about his "low" pay when he's doing his dream job that holds almost no significant importance. After he redeems himself I find myself really caring less. Should I even be remotely interested in a pampered star over someone who really makes a difference in peoples' lives?
It didn't help matters that I didn't find Cuba funny, nor Tom Cruise engaging. I do commend Renee Zellweger for doing the best she could with such a shallow role of giving up her job and putting the financial support of her child on the line to follow a man she has a crush on. What made watching the film also difficult is that her son seemed nowhere realistic; however cute he may have been. I've never had a kid throw out science trivia at me so it was a little hard to relate.
The movie is ultimately about redemption of bitter, cynical, and spoiled pawns of the sports industry. We follow them as they learn to love better, play better, and work better. Interesting of a premise this may be I found it at times hokey considering most of the redemption relies on the characters reacting to points of luck rather than delving into their hearts to find the good side of their soul.
Jerry Maguire trailer:
"The movie would have been much better, much more rewarding, if Jerry could have learned along the way, growing and evolving as a character. Instead, most of the movie presents Jerry ignoring reasons for him to change, followed by a short burst of inspiration, redemption, and rejoicing." - Marty Mapes