Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jerry Maguire

“show me the money!”

in a world where people have become too cynical and too materialistic, acquiring money seems the only thing worth living for. working for money has become an international pastime.

jerry maguire (tom cruise) who appears to be on top of the world as he is blest with a successful career and a very hot and sexy fiancée who can’t seem to get enough of him in bed, finally realizes that with all his “success” in life, he is not happy.

a sports agent by trade, jerry realizes that he has stopped enjoying life cause he is spread thin. so he writes a mission statement that glorifies the value of concentrating and focusing oneself on fewer things (in his case, to be an agent to fewer athletes) and thus getting more satisfaction out of life as one gets to appreciate what he or she is doing, as opposed to always being on the rush just to earn more and more money.

the movie greatly appeals to me as i myself have been unknowingly spread thin for the last 15 years or so, and thus feel the need to "system restore" myself. like jerry maguire who, in a fit of unbridled enthusiasm, wrote his mission statement, i myself had to reevaluate my goals, determine what’s really important for me, and narrow down my focus to the things that really matter. i realized that trying to help too many people took a lot out of me and in the long run, i wouldn’t be of much help to these people. thus i resolved to limit the aid that i give to certain people who really need it the most and maybe to people whose needs are easily met.

jerry maguire, after getting fired from the company he helped build because of his ideology of limiting and concentrating one’s time and effort to fewer athletes when the company’s philosophy was to obtain more athletes as possible cause this means more money, found himself left with one client. even though he was in the belief that fewer clients would make him more productive, one client is just an extremely low number to work from.

the touching part of the movie for me was when a female accountant from the company where jerry used to work for was inspired by his mission statement and thus joined him to start a new company. this was a big risk for the accountant, dorothy boyd (renee zellweger) as shown by her concern for a medical plan which turned out to be the first thing she asked from her “new boss”, jerry; a medical plan being a given at smi, their previous company. she felt that the risk and trouble of transferring to a “new company” that had no proven stability or track record was worth it cause now she was gonna work for something she believed in, as opposed to just going through the motions of a nine-to-five job in order to earn a living.

how many of us have settled for jobs that we don’t enjoy doing or jobs whose ideals we don’t really believe in? we rationalize that we need the money so we have no choice. sometimes as we slowly learn to accept the demands of our jobs, we also unknowingly lose or forget what we really want in life and thus our convictions (if there are any left) are easily swayed by what we see on tv or what we hear from people. we don’t know anymore what we want so we try to learn from others, who themselves don’t know what they want. and thus the concept: “the blind leading the blind”.

not wanting to make this review too preachy, i shall now move on and say that the movie is very entertaining cause it has just about everything that a feel-good movie can offer: a comedy that has its tear-jerking moments, a somewhat controversial love story between jerry and a single mom, a very arousing sex scene between jerry and his former fiancée avery (kelly preston), highlights of football (nfl) games including cameos from dallas cowboys players’ troy aikman, emitt smith and deion sanders, or at least, in the case of the latter two, their well known jerseys on possible stunt doubles.

like most movies, this one aims to motivate and move the soul of the viewer into affecting his fellow man and somehow it succeeds as it implies that you don’t have to inspire many people. all it takes is to touch and reach one person. it tells about not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by trying to reach too many people. for to do so would only cause you not to try at all. but if you are able to move even just one person with your action, your writing, your cooking, your painting, your sculpture, your song, that is more than enough to cause a major ripple in this temporary journey that we call life.

rating: 4 out of 5 stars * * * *
whether you're on a date, with friends, or alone, this movie works.

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