I should be going to sleep. I’ve already brushed my teeth. If I read for fifteen or twenty minutes, my eyelids will grow heavy. Am I going to bed now? No, because Jerry Maguire (Cameron Crowe, 1996) is on Turner Classic Movies at half-past midnight as part of its annual 31 Days of Oscar programming event.
In Ben Mankiewicz‘s intro to the film, he mentions the lines of dialogue that became infinitely quotable:
“That’s more than a dress, that’s an Audrey Hepburn movie.”
“Don’t cry at the beginning of a date. Cry at the end like I do.”
I was expecting Ben to mention the one about “the human head weighs eight pounds,” but he didn’t.
I watched Jerry Maguire a few times when I was writing my master’s thesis many years ago. There are many narrative and mise-en-scene elements that faded from memory but for some reason, I remember disliking Kelly Preston‘s character. This TCM-faciliated rewatch has allowed me to appreciate her intense performance, especially in the scene where Jerry (Tom Cruise) dumps her.
Other observations that I hadn’t perceived before or forgot about:
~ Jonathan Lipnicki was so cute!
~ What was it about men in suits in the 90s that was distinctively 90s? Was it all the earth tones?
~ Check out these cell phones! Within five years of the film’s release, most mobiles would come with cameras.
~ Renee Zellwegger was really good in this film. The way she looks at Tom Cruise in that scene at baggage claim, you can tell she’s already in love with him.
~ The characters in this film utilize every communication tool available to them (except for email and web-based instant messengers): landlines, cell phones, pay phones, fax machines.
I looked through my notes and thesis because I wanted to remember how I interpreted it. I included it in my analysis of professional football films. Quoting myself here:
In addition to the meta-textual components of professional football as a business, Jerry Maguire argues that friends and family are integral aspects of an athlete’s support system and depicts the collision of business life with private life (or lack thereof). It is peculiar that in the entire film, there is not one shot or scene showing an actual touchdown being made, which suggests that at the professional level, the priorities and definition of victory for the players rest primarily in other facets of their world such as commercial viability, contracts, and avoiding injury as much as possible.
Jerry Maguire is a genre-hybrid comprised of a football movie on one hand and a romantic comedy on the other. Tom Cruise plays the title character, a sports agent who undergoes a philosophical revelation that compels him to quit his job and retain only one client, wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), [and] connects the football narrative with the romantic comedy. Although Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellwegger) works for the same sports agency as Jerry, she never appears alone with the key players of the football world. When she is in the same scene or on screen at the same time as Rod, it only occurs when Jerry is there, when Rod wears normal clothes that do not signify his football player identity, and when his wife Marcee Tidwell (Regina King) is also present in the same scene. Avery Bishop (Kelly Preston), Maguire’s fiancée, however, is seen in the company of other sports professionals because she works in the industry. Jerry dumps her because they cannot be together if he is to have his redemption…
What is particularly striking about the parallel storylines is that Dorothy might work in the NFL in a meta-textual industry sense, she might work in the same company as Maguire (and then follow him when he starts his own company), but she is not in the football movie portion of Jerry Maguire. Dorothy occupies a familial space that is generically tied to the romantic comedy. Throughout the majority of the film, whenever she and Jerry are in a scene together, they are rarely in the same frame. In their first two scenes together, they are not in the same shot until there is something that can serve as an intermediary—Dorothy’s son Ray (Jonathan Lipnicki), (airport baggage claim), and the goldfish (Jerry takes from the agency). In the third scene they have together, where Dorothy drives Jerry to the airport, they are in the same frame; Ray also happens to be sitting in the back seat.
Oh yeah, remember that Bruce Springsteen song from the film?
Pix creds: IMDB