There’s A Lot You Probably Don’t Remember About ‘Jerry Maguire’

Cultural Critic
01.06.17 15 Comments


Last month, Jerry Maguire marked its 20th anniversary. This week, a newly refurbished Blu-ray edition was released. Therefore, we have an excuse to revisit a classic movie that seemingly every single person on the face of the Earth has seen. However, what is there to say about Jerry Maguire that hasn’t already been said?

Well, plenty, actually. Because people only talk about the same three things when it comes to Jerry Maguire.

1. “Show me the money!”

2. “You complete me!”/”You had me at hello!”

3. How it’s weird that little Jonathan Lipnicki aged into this weirdly muscular fellow.

Jerry Maguire made a major impact on pop culture. There are literally tens of thousands of VHS tapes standing in a monument that speak to how popular this film once was. So, it’s worth delving past the well-worn catchphrases to other aspects of the film that have been forgotten. In fact, there are 22 other important things about Jerry Maguire that you probably don’t remember.

1. Jerry Maguire is pretty good. It holds up about 65 percent of the time.

2. Part of the 35 percent that doesn’t hold up includes what was once one of Jerry Maguire‘s best jokes back in 1996 — Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Rod Tidwell is mistaken for Darius Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish by two white kids at the airport. Unfortunately, Hootie jokes stopped being funny by approximately the fall of 1998, around the time that this album came out. Which is too bad, because Fairweather Johnson is still a very funny pop-culture reference for those of us of a certain age.

3. The opening sequence of Jerry Maguire, in which Jerry has a mental breakdown and pens the memo — sorry, mission statement — that gets him fired, is possibly the most unbearably earnest part of the whole movie, which is saying something. Things that Tom Cruise says during the first 10 minutes of Jerry Maguire include: “Who had I become?” “Suddenly, I was my father’s son again.” “It was the me I wanted to be.” It’s about as Cameron Crowe as you can get.

4. Jerry’s mission statement, which is called “The Things We Think And Do Not Say,” also ranks among 1996’s most underrated emo albums.

5. The mission statement in Jerry Maguire was partly inspired by a memo written in 1991 by Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was then the head of Disney. The memo, which was subsequently leaked to the media, decried the blockbuster mentality that had already taken hold of the film industry in the early ’90s. Disney, Katzenberg writes, was a company that once aspired to “singles and doubles,” meaning smaller films produced relatively cheaply that were geared toward storytelling rather than big stars and special effects. This echoes the “less is more” ethos of Jerry’s mission statement. But Katzenberg wasn’t fired for writing his memo — he stayed at Disney another three years before founding DreamWorks with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

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