I was eight-years-old when JERRY MAGUIRE came out and much to the potential disappointment of my parents at the time, who don’t know, I watched this R-rated movie. I had a friend whose dad had purchased it on VHS. My friend probably enjoyed because of its edginess, at least for our age. He also howled with laughter when the kid around our age at the beginning dropped the F-Bomb at the title character. Needless to say, a lot of what actually made the movie good flew over our heads as we were more fascinated with side boob and generous helpings of four letter words.
Now for those who missed out on the mid-90’s phenomenon, JERRY MAGUIRE is about – well – Jerry Maguire (Cruise). The sports agent lives a go-go life, flying around the country and handling dozens and dozens of all-star athletes. The slick agent, after a night of bad food, alcohol, and insomnia, has an epiphany. He types up his vision or as he calls it, his mission statement. He prints it up and places it in the mailboxes of all his fellow employees and bosses.
Well. They don’t like it. The mission statement implies that agents need to handle fewer clients and show some compassion instead of treating the athletes like fleshy money bags. So the knee-jerk reaction is to fire Maguire and in a mad dash to retain his clients, he calls up everyone in his little black book of clients. The only one to stick it out with Maguire is the foul-mouthed, unpredictable Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, Rod Tidwell (Gooding).
There are actually a lot of subplots in this movie. There’s the single mom that becomes smitten with Maguire, Dorothy Boyd (Zellweger), a competitive rival agent, a disgruntled fiancé, and a first round draft pick that’s stringing him along. JERRY MAGUIRE actually has a sitcom feel to it, despite its nudity and adult language. It only feels like an ABC Tuesday night show because of the scripted feel-good moments and predictable conflicts that arise.
The cultural significance of JERRY MAGUIRE is very prevalent, even today. I still see movies and TV shows that reference or parody lines, and specific scenes from JERRY MAGUIRE. That says a lot about how much of an impact this movie has had on script writers. It is heartwarming and memorable, but looking in the rearview mirror, it’s not the Oscar-nominated movie we should all remember it for.
There’s a lot to like about it, but it’s too long and doesn’t really earn its character evolution from cynicism to sympathy. Maguire’s tale is more like Gordon Gecko-lite realizing that life is more enjoyable without greed. Which I can tolerate, but it’s not something that brings a tear to my eye or makes me feel all warm and gooey inside. If anything, I wish there was more of Gooding’s character since he steals the show as the only honest and genuine human being in this film. He at least deserved the Oscar gold he got.
Who’s to say the cultural significance of this movie will die down and only be revisited when greeted by the untimely deaths of one of its cast and crew? In a decade, JERRY MAGUIRE will most certainly be celebrating 30 years with another Blu-ray release and by then who knows how we’ll feel then. I kind of wish I had left my eight-year-old view of this movie intact. I enjoyed it more for being taboo than I did as an adult.
BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 1:85:1) Despite it being two decades old, the picture transfer is absolutely stunning. You would never think from the picture quality that this is a 20 year old movie. Props to Sony Pictures.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) I assume that the audio was spruced up as well and it definitely shows as we watch the hustle and bustle of work to the quiet homes in suburbia, flow from blasting to quiet without any audible difference.
PiP Commentary with Crowe, Cruise, Zellweger & Gooding: At times, this is a really fun commentary and at other times it feels like a group of strangers struggling to find something to talk about. There are some neat behind-the-scenes stories behind a couple of comedic moments, like the classic “show me the money” scene
JERRY MAGUIRE: We Meet Again (38:54): This feature is broken up into three parts. The first part details a lot of the inspiration and foundation molding that went behind the movie. It’s interesting hearing how Crowe immersed himself in the material, continuing to seek out guidance from producer, James L. Brooks. The second part is about the cast selection, focusing more on Gooding, Zellweger, and others, since Cruise was more of an established piece early on. The third and final part is a reflection from the crew and Crowe, as well as the impact the movie had upon its release, and the legacy it has.
Deleted & Extended Scenes (55:38): There’s an introduction by Crowe, highlighting the newer extended and deleted scenes attached to this Blu-ray. It also included previous deleted scenes that were probably included on a previous Blu-ray or DVD. There are nearly two dozen scenes that are raw and untouched, meaning its VHS quality. With nearly an hour worth of content, the length tends to strain the importance of some scenes and overall minimizing their significance when attached to extended scenes where only a half-minute of dialogue is attached to a handful of minutes.
Behind the Scenes at the Video Commentary (5:40): It’s fairly self-explanatory. It’s the four on the audio commentary joking around before they start recording. It’s weird that they weren’t this energetic when starting.
The Making of JERRY MAGUIRE (7:14): This is the old behind the scenes featured that was probably used when the movie came out. This feature focuses on Cruise more than any of the newer features, probably signifying where Hollywood’s mind was at in the mid-90’s.
“My First Commercial” by Rod Tidwell (0:51): This is a fake commercial featuring the fictional football player. It’s selling Reeboks. And very poorly I might add.
Drew Rosenhaus: “How to Be a Sports Agent” (3:46): Rosenhaus isn’t the sports agent this movie is based off, but he was most likely used as source material. He talks fast, moves fast and thinks fast. You can definitely see his influence on Jerry Maguire, the character.
Original Deleted & Alternate Scenes (2:42): These were probably scenes that were included on a previous DVD. There are only three scenes and they add nothing distinct to the story. You can play this with commentary from Crowe and Editor Joe Hutching.
Rehearsal Footage (1:58): There are three rehearsal videos on this feature. It’s with Gooding going over his character, the “show me the money” scene and Cruise practicing his speech to the EMI building after being fired. It comes with commentary from Crowe, but oddly enough he rehashes most of the info in this on the movie’s commentary video.
“Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen