I hate Jerry McGuire. It is a terrible romantic comedy.  So is Four Weddings and A Funeral.

This guy is slagging both 4W&F AND Jerry McGuire? Who does he think he is? While 4W&F is a funny movie, it is a terrible romantic comedy because the lead, Charles, (Hugh Grant) declares his love to the wrong character, Carrie (Andie McDowell). Carrie is beautiful but she and Charles have zero chemistry. Also, he has the far superior Fiona (Kristen Scott Thomas) panting for him. Me? I’d take the smart, sexy and accomplished woman over the personality-free trophy wife. But I digress. Or do I? Jerry McGuire has the same problem – he declares his love to the wrong person.

Likely everyone is familiar with the line “You complete me” that Jerry (Tom Cruise) utters to Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) in front of a roomful of hostile divorcees. Women swoon over that line. But the movie never demonstrates that she does complete him. It’s a cheat. So who should McGuire have declared his love to? Dorothy’s son, Ray.

A grown man declaring his love for a boy is a potential minefield. It sure doesn’t fit the classic romantic comedy model but it’s Ray who completes Jerry. Wait! You can’t have a movie where a man finds meaning in his father figure role! Not outside of a good relationship to that boy’s mother! Oh, wait, you can – it’s called About A Boy, a better Hugh Grant comedy that explores how being a “father” helps a man find himself.

It seems we have a long way to go for it to be OK for a man to show how he feels. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about long teary discussions about your emotions. Boring. But long ago, my dad (a classic tough guy) showed me that being a real man means doing what’s right and not worrying about what society thinks. A real man can and should tell his own sons (and daughters) publicly that he loves them – that they “complete” him. So, hug it out, bros.
A version of this article appears in the June/July issues of Village Living Magazine: West Village and Village Living Magazine:Mount Pleasant.