Jerry Maguire

Bomb Rating: 

Writer/director Cameron Crowe has taken care to methodically abuse every romantic film cliché on earth.

Sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise), drunk and recently estranged from his girlfriend (Kelly Preston), pays a visit to the home of hisassistant, Dorothy (Rene Zellweger), to avoid being alone. In the process of spilling his guts, Jerry kisses Dorothy and grabs her breast. Sexual harassment. Right then, some woman behind me says with pride, "I wouldn't mind." Isn't it nice to know Tom Cruise can single-handedly set women's rights back thirty years?

This breast-grabbing episode occurs because Jerry has been fired from a sports agency for writing a 25-page mission statement explaining the benefits of a humanistic approach to the business. This approach can be summed up in two words: "Be honest." Unfortunately, in the sports business, that translates loosely to "Take all my money and make me your bitch." After plodding through this 25-page manifesto only to cull a recommendation for mass suicide, Jerry's boss immediately gives him the boot. Jerry, though indignant, should count himself lucky -- in most firms, Jerry would have been shot.

Writer/director Cameron ("Singles") Crowe has taken care to methodically abuse every romantic film cliché on earth. Complementing the standard romance is each partner's requisite comic-relief friend: Jerry has his only client, Rod (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), and Dorothy has her sister (Bonnie Hunt). To top it off, Dorothy also has a cute kid, thus providing enough cute kid moments to make you want to set fire to an orphanage.

As if all the female swooning in the theater wasn't enough to make an average fella feel inadequate, the evil Crowe also does the unthinkable: He shows Tom's butt. At that point, the heat of the collective sigh vented by the theater's women could have vulcanized rubber.

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