by Bret W.
Most times you can classify movies as one of two categories: Chick Flicks and Guy Movies. Chick Flicks are touchy-feely love films that are so damn sappy that they make guys wanna puke. Guy Movies have action, a lot of it, and usually a fair amount of blood and ammo thrown in to boot.
Jerry Maguire is a film that can fall into either category, and indeed crosses boundaries to fall into both quite well. On the one hand, it’s a story about a love affair and marriage between a fallen man and a very young widow and single mother. On the other hand, it’s a story about the emergence of a star football player propelling the Arizona Cardinals to their first playoff berth in ten years. So while the women are swooning over the love story, the men are all cheering the hard hitting football action.
But again, this film transcends even this strange dichotomy. Weaving these two distinctly different stories together is another underlying theme of emergence and transition. Jerry is the jaded and highly successful sports agent who experiences an epiphany one night, changing his outlook on the sports world in general and changing his life forever. Thereafter the film chronicles his struggles as an agent, losing his clientelle and managing to hold on to just one arrogant and undervalued (in his own estimation) wide receiver for the Cardinals. Where Rod Tidwell, the client, fails on the field he is wildly successful in his homelife and his relationship with his wife and son. His transition comes on the field and in the locker room, where he changes from the brash and disliked jackass to the fully developed team member who raises the morale of the entire team.
The one woman who believes in Jerry is Dorothy Boyd, an accountant who leaves Jerry’s firm when he is fired in order to go to work for him. She professes that Jerry inspires her for his conviction, and in the beginning he falls in love with the notion of her loyalty. He also falls in love with the notion of being a father figure to her son. In the end, however, as they grow together, he falls in love with her.
Jerry Maguire is a perfect film, fully deserving of all the stars I could possibly give it. It’s perfect because it appeals to the audience on so many levels. It’s the mushy love story for the women, and it’s the action-packed sports adventure for the men. It’s also a hell of a story spun to perfection by the talented director, Cameron Crowe, and wonderfully scored by Crowe’s wife Nancy Wilson (formerly of the Seattle band, Heart). It’s a film to watch with a date to bring you closer, or a film to watch alone to make you feel better about life in general. It’s a fantastic film on all accounts, and that is what makes it one of my top ten films of all time.