It could be possible that I may be showing a little favoritism when it comes to my selections out here. You may have noticed that certain actors get a lot more shine. Namely Tom Hanks, Denzel and Eddie Murphy. Actually, I don't think Eddie has been highlighted as much as he could have. But I'm sure Tom Cruise has. This latest entry has easily got to be at least the third movie featuring him that has showed up in my Vault Picks.
I know I've mentioned this before but it's worth repeating again. Only because E and I were just talking about this the other day which brought it up again. That fact being that Cruise's off screen craziness doesn't bother me at all. I could care less how many aliens he worships and how many talk show couches he jumps on. As long as whatever he's doing isn't racist and he keeps making incredible flicks then I'm good. Well this one was down right amazing.
The reason why this one popped in my mind should be obvious. We are just coming off the heels of the latest NFL labor strike. All of us football fanatics were immediately showered with all the football we could ever ask for this time of year. That had me thinking about all the great football movies I had seen. A few of them have already been mentioned out here as former Vault Picks. Although this one was not solely about football, it was close enough.
The word is that role of "Jerry Maguire" was loosely based on the super agent Drew Rosenhaus. Back when it was first released in 1996 I would have bought that. Only because I had know idea who Drew was then. But now we have more than enough information on Rosenhaus to know that he was nothing like Jerry. Unless he was the Jerry in the first part of the movie that was purely driven by money before he grew a conscience and became more concerned about his clients.
Probably one of the only problems I had with the movie was the moment for which it is most famous. The whole "Show me the money!" thing. Not so much that exact moment but the event that led up to it. What company is going to fire somebody and then let them return to the office to solicit all their old clients? I may have never been in sales, but I know enough about getting fired to know that wouldn't happen. But if they didn't take that liberty then we probably wouldn't have had one of the most quoted lines in cinema history.
I'm not so sure that Cuba Gooding Jr. would have had the career he would have either were it not for that over the top sequence. Any true "Boyz n the Hood" fan had already seen something in Cuba to know he was destined for greatness. It took "Jerry Maguire" for him to have the crossover success to show the rest of the world the same thing. 7 years later. But at least he got his Academy Award. Even if he didn't seem to do any movies near as good after this one.
"Jerry Maguire" sticks out as such a great football movie was because it tells the story from a different perspective. We were accustomed to seeing it told from the aspect of the players or maybe even the fans. Never had anyone explored what it was like for an agent. Not only from that point of view but also showing the agent as a regular person rather than just a shyster-type out to get as much money as possible for his client.
Am I the only one who could care less about the whole romantic slant of this flick? I understand that it was the main storyline, but I was able to look past it. I was able to see this guy who had always been defined by his career and then found himself struggling to reinvent due to the necessity. I saw a guy who was used to being the king of the hill having issues with seeing what life is like at the bottom of the ladder. And the manner in which Cruise portrayed that character so that we could see him laughing off his troubles made the 2+ hour running time fly by.
Don't get me wrong...there were some other fantastic supporting actors in this one. Although Rene Zellwegger undoubtedly owes her subsequent success to "Maguire" she certainly proved why she was worthy of it. And of course there was that little kid with the big head that added the cute factor. But it still comes back to the fact that Cruise was once again on point with this one. This wasn't his record-breaking fifth consecutive $100+ million grossing film for nothing. So worship as many spaceships as you want Tom...just keep making classic movies while you do it.