Kelly Preston in ‘Jerry Maguire’: Furiously Good, in a Role That Should Have Opened More Doors

As an actress, Kelly Preston, who died Sunday at 57, was the soul of likability, and that’s no small thing.

When she showed up in a movie, she lit it up; she also grounded it.

(She had an earthly radiance.) Just think of the scene in “For Love of the Game” where she meets Kevin Costner’s aw-shucks baseball pitcher.

Her rental car is stalled by the side of the road, and he stops to help her, all shaggy jockish gallantry.

It’s a meet-cute moment, though the offhand way that Preston bristles at being rescued lends it a contemporary vivacity.

Then, this being a traditional (and actually rather good) Hollywood movie, he melts her resistance.

Just as she has already melted his.

The audience melts too.In “Twins” and “SpaceCamp” and “Mischief” and Alexander Payne’s first film, “Citizen Ruth,” and a great many others, Kelly Preston had scenes like that one,

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