"That's how you become great man. You hang your balls out there"
Long haired hippie in the copy shop...Jerry Maguire
She calls it a memo, he insists it was only it a mission statement.
Either way, it implications are at the crux of the wisdom that is Jerry Maguire.
I first saw this film on the big screen when it came out and remembered that I loved it. Since then I have seen it numerous times, but just last week, I caught the 1996 movie starring Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr. for the first time in years and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Because this time was different. This time, it was as if I had seen it for the very first time and it's message was not lost on me. I saw it for it's wisdom.
Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, the "love you too" sports agent with a soul, to perfection as he deals with his internal conflict that results in consequential life lessons along his journey.
"Bob Sugar said I don't know what it's like to be a black person?? I'm Mr. black people!"
"I'm finished, I'm fuc*ed. 24 hours ago, man I was hot! Now I'm a cautionary tale. You see this jacket I'm wearing? You like it? Because I don't really need it because I am cloaked in failure! I lost the number one draft pick the night before the draft! Why? Lets recap-I had two slices of bad pizza, went to bed and grew a conscience."
"Matt, tell me you didn't sign because I'm still kind of moved by your,'my word is stronger than oak thing'."
"You don't know what it's like to be me out here for you. It is an up-at-dawn, pride swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about."
A fresh faced unknown in her breakout role, Renee Zellweger stars as Dorothy Boyd his long suffering assistant. A young, widowed, single mother, Dorothy finds herself caught up in the romance of inspiration.
"First class is what's wrong honey. It used to be a better meal. Now it's a better life."
"Look at me Laurel. I am the oldest 26 year old in the world."
"Do you know what other women my age are doing right now? They're out partying in clubs trying to get a man, keep a man. Not me Laurel, I'm trying to raise a man."
And, of course, Cuba Gooding Jr. in his Academy Award winning "show me the money" role as Jerry's only remaining client, Rod Tidwell. Tidwell, an NFL football player whose loyalty to Jerry and the money prove to be the perfect background for his purpose as Jerry's "wildly charismatic" oracle.
"Hell yeah, that's my word. They may have the coin, but they'll never have the Quan. It means love, respect, community and the dollars too. The entire package, the Quan."
"You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you." " That's the difference between us. You think we're fighting and I think we're finally talking."
"I feel you dawg, but a real man would not shop-lift the pootie from a single mother."
Throughout this film, bits of wisdom and the realities of life are dolled out to the viewer in generous portions. Jerry is left in his fragile state to sort through the lemons and make cinematic lemonade.
Bob Sugar- Jerry's former mentee and rival sports agent whose ferocious attempts to destroy Jerry's career make him the smug rouge we love to hate.
"I haven't seen you since we were with that stripper in Laguna Beach. Do you remember her name? I do. It was April. That's my job; to remember the names of skanks that you bang on the road. That's what I do. It's not about the money. I do it all for you."
"Are you in or are you out? It's not show friends, it's show business." "I will kill for you. I will maim for you. I will rape and pillage for you."
"This is a nice moment for you. I'm gonnna let you have it."
Avery Bishop- Jerry's insensitive yet beautiful , ex-fiance.
"If you ever want me to be with another woman for you, I would do it. I'm not interested in it. There was a time, yes it felt normal for me, but it was a phase, a college thing, like torn Levis or law school for you."
"You are Jerry MaFU*KINGguire. King of the house calls. Master of the living room."
"Brutal truth, remember. There is a sensitivity thing that some people have. I don't have it. I don't cry at movies. I don't gush over babies. I don't start celebrating Christmas 5 months early and I don't tell the man who just screwed up both our lives, 'oh poor baby'. That's me for better or worse."
Marcy Tidwell-Rod's pregnant, hard-nosed but loving wife.
" If you ask me you haven't gotten emotional enough over this man."
"You'll go back and say what? Please remove your dick from my ass?? I'm sorry, I'm just a little pregnant right now."
"Baby this is you and me. We determine our world. You are a strong, proud, surviving, splendid black man"
Laurel Boyd-Dorothy's divorced, bitter, "disapproving sister"
"Men are just different people when they are hanging on to the bottom wrung."
"Take it easy. Don't cry at the beginning of a date. Just cry at the end, like I do."
To Jerry: "You fu*ck this up and I'll kill you."
Chad-Dorothy's son Ray's jazz loving baby sitter.
"Nanny? I prefer 'childcare technician'."
Jerry: "So you're the Nanny?"
Chad: "Au pair."
"This is Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Stolkholm, 1963. Two masters of freedom playing at a time before their art was corrupted by a zillion cocktail lounge performers who destroyed the legacy of the only American art form. Jazz. No barriers, no boundaries."
And Jerry's mentor, the late, great Dicky Fox whose Aristotle-like wisdom, peppered
throughout the film, serve to surmise the theme of this film.
"The key to this business is personal relationships."
"Unless you love everybody, you can't sell anybody."
"I don't have all the answers. In life, I've failed as much as I've succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life and I wish you my kind of success."
Jerry Maguire learned a hard-fought lesson. You can still achieve success if you remember to believe in yourself, value your integrity and listen to the lessons that love can teach you.