I caught Jerry Maguire again last night for millionth time and had a mini revelation. For years I’ve always thought the “Jerry Maguire Moment” was when he authored his manifesto outlining the changes his organization needed to make…the shift toward more personal communication and service. Of course he ultimately gets fired for thinking something so counter and distributing those thoughts.
I’ve often used the phrase “Jerry Maguire Moment” to mean the point when you have a crisis of conscious, buck the system and do what you believe is right. Being someone who can be quite literal, I’ve generally abided by the concept that the “Jerry Maguire Moment” was about business…or work. But, last night, while watching the movie, I realized I was wrong.
The real “Jerry Maguire Moment” takes place at the end of the movie when we shows up unannounced at the house to profess his love to Dorothy. Of course this is where he delivers the famous “You Complete Me” speech:
“If this is where it has to happen, then this is where it has to happen.
I’m not letting you get rid of me. How about that?
This used to be my specialty. You know, I was good in a living room. They’d send me in there, and I’d do it alone. And now I just…
But tonight, our little project, our company had a very big night — a very, very big night.
But it wasn’t complete, wasn’t nearly close to being in the same vicinity as complete, because I couldn’t share it with you. I couldn’t hear your voice or laugh about it with you. I miss my — I miss my wife.
We live in a cynical world, a cynical world, and we work in a business of tough competitors.
I love you. You — complete me.”
This is the real “Jerry Maguire Moment.” Not because the words are powerful; they are. No, this is the real “Jerry Maguire Moment” because this is the moment where we see the real change in a person. Jerry becomes the person he was always capable of being, but never realized he could be. It’s the moment when he stopped treating his life like business and started being invested in the business of life.
This all makes for amazing theater. It makes us feel good. But here’s s thought. What would have happened if Dorothy listened to her sister and her gut and logic and remained stubborn? Instead of saying, “you had me at hello” what if she had said, “that’s great Jerry, but too little too late.” My revelation wasn’t so much that there was a Jerry Maguire moment as much as it was that there was a Dorothy Boyd moment. Dorothy defies logic, her sister, the room full of women and follows her heart.
The movie may be titled, Jerry Maguire, but the real protagonist whe you think about it, is Dorothy. I can’t believe it took me all these years to realize it.