Who could forget the scene when Rene Zellwegger says “You had me at ‘hello’ ” to Jerry who engages in a plea to make her stay?
The story begins with Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) who is an agent working for Sports Management International. He has reached a point of consciousness in his career, wondering what he has become and realizes in his own words that he is nothing more than ” a shark in another suit” . After working for years in a cut throat and cynical business, he hates the bureaucracy of it all and is inspired one night to write a mission statement he call the “Things we think and do not say. The contents of the statement are something known by everybody who works in the sports agency business, but unfortunately for Jerry he is the only one who has the courage to say it and as a result ends up being fired for it, after distributing it to his co- workers who applaud his honesty.
But fortunately for Jerry, Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who plays for the Arizona Cardinals decides to still remain with Jerry despite the fact that everyone else has severed their ties with him. In addition, Dorothy Boyd played by Rene Zellweger who is a 26-year-old single mother touched by Jerry’s honesty decides to risk a safe job to join him in venturing out.
Jerry’s character is the voice hidden inside all of those who wish they could speak their minds and take that risk of venturing out despite being slapped in the face and being labeled as a loser. Although he faces some troubled times, the support he receives from Dorothy and Tidwell, is enough to see him through to the winning side.
Although the movie has concurrent themes along with the love story that unfolds between Jerry and Dorothy, the main one is of emancipation from a materialistic career that has no heart and attempts to numb that of those who do. The movie also focuses on an unusual story of love that develops between Jerry and Dorothy’s son (Jonathan Lipnicki) so much so that he even goes to the extent of marrying her just to be able to be a father to him.
Due to the movie’s universal themes, and excellent performances by its star studded cast, Jerry Maguire has made its way into the annals of classic film. And like all classic movies it bears the trade mark of the ‘feel good’ factor long after it has ended.