Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama sports film written, produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe, and stars Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, and Regina King. The film received acclaim from critics, who praised its performances and screenplay. It was also a financial success and was the ninth-highest-grossing film of 1996. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, nominations for three Golden Globes and others.
As the movie opens, a super sports agent, Jerry Maguire, is facing a crisis of conscience (that he still possesses one after working in such a cynical, materialistic business is something of a miracle). He wonders what he has become — “Just another shark in a suit?” He realizes that he hates himself and his place in the world, and laments that, although he has a lot to say, no one will listen. So, late one night, he writes a Mission Statement called “The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business”. The essay attacks the sports agency business, advocating a more humane approach. The next day, a copy is distributed to everyone in the office. And, although Jerry’s co- workers applaud his courage (“Somebody finally said what had to be said”), his bosses are offended, and he loses his job.
Only one client, unremarkable Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell, elects to remain with Jerry as he strikes out on his own. Also joining him is a 26-year old single mother, Dorothy Boyd, who is so moved by Jerry’s Mission Statement that she’s willing to throw away a safe job to be part of his new venture.
In an era of downsizing and force reductions, it’s easy to understand what happens to Jerry. He speaks his mind, crying out for compassion and caring, only to be slapped down. He is branded as a loser because he dares to swim against the heartless, prevalent business currents. Jerry finds himself in deep, uncertain waters, but his indefatigable spirit, bolstered by tireless support from Rod and Dorothy, helps him navigate the most dangerous eddys.
Jerry Maguire is about redemption and love. It’s about finding one’s heart and soul in a business climate that attempts to rip both away. The director brings both a strong sense of verisimilitude and a lively wit to his film. Even as Jerry Maguire reaches out to the heart, it tickles the funny bone. Jerry Maguire marks his most successful movie to date. For anyone who has forgotten the feelings that a wonderful movie can trigger, Jerry Maguire provides a welcome reminder.