What the Hell Happened to Tobey Maguire?
Maguire also appeared in an episode of Tracey Ullman’s sketch comedy show, Tracey Takes On… on HBO. Each episode would address a specific topic. The episode Maguire was on was all about family. He appears in a bizarre student film.
Maguire capped off 1996 by appearing in Griffin Dunne’s TV short film, The Duke of Groove. Maguire played a teenager whose mother (played by Kate Capshaw) takes him to a wild party hosted by Kiefer Sutherland. That’s never a good idea. Why not just take him to Charlie Sheen’s house while you’re at it?! While Maguire is at the party, he makes time with a beautiful girl played by Uma Thurman.
I’m going to have to have a talk with my mom. Apparently, she took me to all the wrong parties when I was growing up.
In 1997, Maguire returned to the big screen with a supporting role in Ang Lee’s domestic drama, The Ice Storm.
Kevin Kline and Joan Allen starred as a married couple who find themselves drifting apart in the suburbs of Connecticut in the early 1970’s. Kline is struggling with alcoholism and having an affair with a neighbor played by Sigourney Weaver. Maguire played their sixteen-year-old son who was home for the holidays. Christina Ricci played his troubled younger sister. Elijah Wood and Katie Holmes (in her movie debut) also had supporting roles.
The movie was based on a 1994 novel of the same name by Rick Moody. Moody was very pleased with Lee’s adaptation and is said to have sobbed during the closing credits.
Most critics liked The Ice Storm. Gene Siskel picked it as the best film of the year. But despite endorsements from critics, The Ice Storm performed poorly at the box office. It received a very limited release in just three theaters during its opening weekend and never played in more 230 theaters during its short run. As Lee and the young actors became more well-known, The Ice Storm has found an audience on home video.
Maguire also had a small role in Woody Allen’s 1997 comedy, Deconstructing Harry. Allen starred in this one playing a writer with some very Woody Allen-esque tendencies.
Everyone wants to be in a Woody Allen movie at some point in their career. Despite being one of Allen’s weaker efforts, Deconstructing Harry featured an all-star cast that included Demi Moore, Kirstie Alley, Billy Crystal, Elisabeth Shue, Stanley Tucci, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Robin Williams.
Deconstructing Harry is generally regarded as one of Allen’s lesser works. But it allowed a lot of actors to cross “Woody Allen movie” off their bucket list.
Finally, Maguire starred in the indie thriller, Joyride.
Maguire, who was in his early 20s at the time, played a teenager who steals a car for kicks. What he doesn’t realize is that the owner of the car is a beautiful assassin. Benicio Del Toro plays a cop investigating a series of hits that leads him to the car and Maguire.
Maguire has described his relationship with best bud DiCaprio as “competitive”. 1997 was a heck of a year to be in competition with DiCaprio. It was the year of Titanic and “Leomania”. Meanwhile, Maguire had worked with two talented directors in movies few people even knew existed.