Jerry Maguire

A good argument for the abolition of the star system. Writer-director Cameron Crowe (Say Anything . . . ) might have given even Ron Shelton a run for his money with this irreverent look at the world of sports agents, but the film is all but crushed by Tom Cruise’s screen-hogging demand that everything collapse and swoon around him. Mission: Impossible periodically stopped dead in its tracks to show us how adept Cruise was at performing magic tricks; here he’s so bent on displaying his kinetic energy and the depth of his feelings that Crowe’s accomplishments are shoved into the marginsincluding better-than-average performances from Cuba Gooding Jr. and Bonnie Hunt, and some lively narration and dialogue (often cut off in midstream). There’s also a lot of mugging from a little boy (Jonathan Lipnicki) that seems to have been tolerated only because he’s doing it with Cruise. If the star gave us more of a rest, we might have more of a movie. With Renee Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Jerry O’Connell, Jay Mohr, and Regina King. (JR)

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