Jerry Maguire juggles romance, drama, sports, and comedy as it chronicles an egotistical sports agent's discovery of what's really important to him. Writer-director Cameron Crowe populates his sprawling script with a bevy of talented actors: He designed the title role for Tom Cruise, and the actor turns in one of the most genuine, nuanced performances of his career. As the talented football pariah Rod Tidwell, the enthusiastic Cuba Gooding Jr. earned a Best Supporting Actor award -- as well as a place in movie catch-phrase history. Renee Zellweger owes Crowe a similar debt: the director and Cruise fought the studio to cast an unknown in the role, and her naivete and infectious optimism provide a perfect foil for Cruise's (initial) slickness. Jerry Maguire's take on sports is refreshing as well, neither glamorizing the industry nor wallowing in its supposed underbelly. Though predictable, the film's feel-good resolution is heart-felt and not manipulative.
by Matthew Doberman review