Jerry Maguire Review
"Jerry Maguire", TriStar Pictures, 1996
One of my favourite "feel-good" films I've seen in recent memory. Its beautifully crafted through its stylistically buoyant energy that is used to explore every corner of the romance and the "every-man" that it is grounded perfectly by Cruise - making it my favourite role he's touched.
The backbone of the film's strengths comes in the shape of its writing around both Maguire's character and the nihilistic world that he inhibits. The way in which Crowe glides Cruise from sincerely humanistic realism to stage-like formalistic provides a wonderful template for the treatment to gauge audiences with every nuance of human emotion, providing a wealth of personality and identity that stands out to the melancholy that although exists in this film, often flattens the relatable protagonist. However, the sporadicly realistic nature of characterisation here gives a true sense of rawness to the conflicts that Maguire encounters. This is just as brilliantly-realised as the world of competition that audiences can't help but completely fall into, not only providing a delicate character arc for Maguire and strengthening the line of identification that we share with him but also, but also opens up the room for further reading around the themes of trust and redemption almost poetically. The self-aware tone that this radiates is encompasses by the narrative structure, which although follows the conventional plotpoints of the genre that is exists within, it does so through an almost rugged sense of pacing that not only opens the floodgates for the stylishness of the editing, but also maintains the consistency of this contrast between the styles realism and surrealism that the screenplay balances on. This all does a great job at texturising the uppity yet grounded aesthetic, providing a plethora of different tones between witty and depressing. The relationships that provide different angles towards the delicate bond between love-life and the world of sports management feel as fragile as Maguire himself - the chemistry between the cast are utilised to full effect to present equally humanistic and emotionally dynamic lenses.
Whilst the 3rd act may feel detached from the magnetic and volatile tone of the first two, the writing embraces it by highlighting the true emotional weight to the power that often comes crashing down on the guy we're rooting for.
Overall, this is an articulately curated story that recognises and reflects on the types of self-centred journeys characters go on through brilliantly detailed subtleties that build up to present the meaning behind the magic that audiences often feel after watching a romantic comedy like this one.