, the film that launched the careers of writer-director Cameron Crowe and actress Renée Zellwenger, is accurately regarded as one of the best romantic comedies of the 1990s. It's an unconventional tale about the paradoxical nature of success in which a top sports agent (Tom Cruise) is forced to reassess his life when he is unceremoniously dumped by his employer. After falling in love with single mother Dorothy Boyd (Zellwenger), and supported by loyal client and second-rate football star Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Maguire attempts to rebuild his fractured life.
At times the film's lightweight, pop-sociology view of the hungry nature of the modern day workplace is clichéd to say the least. However, because Crowe is able to develop meaningful characters, his contradictory lunges against capitalism are submerged by the excellent performances of Cruise and company. There are also top notch supporting roles from Zellwenger's screen son Ray (child star Jonathan Lipnicki) and dictatorial older sister Laurel (Bonnie Hunt).
On the DVD: Jerry Maguire's animated menus are created in the style of a messy desk with Post-It-Note selection icons but these don't function as anticipated. As well as the audio commentary over the main feature, the bonus disc unnecessarily includes live action visual footage of Cruise, Crowe, Gooding and Zellwenger providing the same remarks. Unfortunately, the visuals only add to irritability of the exclusive banter between the four. There's also a short "making-of" featurette along with Cameron Crow's documentary Drew Rosenhaus: Sports Agent, which highlights the inspiration behind the film's character Bob Sugar. The "Mission Statement", reproduced in its entirety, isn't a quick and easy read. The music video for Bruce Springsteen's "Secret Garden" adds a mellow, atmospheric twist to the bonus disc. There are also exclusive DVD-ROM extras tucked away, including the screenplay and photo gallery. --John Galilee
Tom Cruise is in top form as a sports agent who suddenly discovers his scruples in this romantic comedy, which co-stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. in his Oscar(r)-winning role.