Dostoevsky and Jerry Maguire

I may suffer serious scorn for making the comparison, but a recent viewing of Jerry Maguire on cable for the fourth or fifth time got me thinking about the famous Russian writer. In particular, I watched the film and thought of The Brothers Karamazov.

What the movie and the book have in common is earnestness. It has been much commented that we are a cynical, guarded people who resonate perfectly with the nearly sociopathic characters on Seinfeld (who I loved, too). Given our self-protective postures, it comes as something of a shock to the system when persons are portrayed turning themselves inside out to another person. This is a fundamentally different act than thinking one’s true thoughts while alone. Revealing the self to another is fraught with risk of being judged, alienated, and thought silly, stupid or insane. But that is the act the characters in Jerry Maguire and The Brothers do so well and so satisfyingly.

I recommend the movie. The book needs no recommendation since it is widely believed to be the best novel ever written.

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3 thoughts on “Dostoevsky and Jerry Maguire

  1. Hunter it sounds like you’ve spent too much time around politicians. Your statement

    “It has been much commented that we are a cynical, guarded people who resonate perfectly with the nearly sociopathic characters on Seinfeld (who I loved, too).”

    is not true for most of us, and the idea of earnestness is wholely unremarkable away from the political capitals of the nation.

  2. tlaloc…When was the last time you visited an American church?

    (No offense…I was just playing the part of a good cynic. You’ve got to admit, though, that my tongue-in-cheek comment works on so many levels…)

    Cruise’s character in Maguire is one of the best roles he’s ever played. If Tom Cruise was a real human being, I imagine he’d be like Jerry Maguire. (More cynicism…I’m on a roll tonight!)

  3. “tlaloc…When was the last time you visited an American church?”

    The last time I can think of was about ten years ago. Unless you don’t count Quakers in which case it’d be substantially longer.

    I’m afraid the volume of cynicism in your post has obscured the point you were driving toward…

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