Watching Movies: Tom Cruise Wears A Wacky TAG Heuer In ‘Jerry Maguire’
Renée Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr. complete him with TAGs of their own in our watch-related movie of the week.
In the 1990s, Tom Cruise was a mega movie star – even bigger than he is now. In 1996 alone, he starred in the first Mission Impossible blockbuster (a franchise that’s still going strong) and today’s film of choice, Jerry Maguire. Not a bad year. The film follows the eponymous Maguire, a sports agent whose life gets turned upside down after getting fired from his agency, leaving him with only one client – pro football player Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.). In the midst of all that, Maguire falls in love with his only employee, Dorothy Boyd (played by Renée Zellweger). This is a sports movie, but also a romantic comedy, but really it’s one big game of Tag – as in TAG Heuer.
Why We’re Watching
The 2020 Olympics closing ceremonies are this weekend, but the Olympics weren’t the only sporting event on right now. Between the Major League Baseball trade deadline, NBA free agency (Russ to the Lakers!), and the NFL training camps starting up, it’s an athletic frenzy across the board. And where there are elite athletes, there are agents. A sports agent is responsible for negotiating on an athlete’s behalf when it comes to contracts, in addition to being their representative in all areas inside and outside the sport (commercials, movies, endorsements, etc). There’s no better sports-agent film than Jerry Maguire. And it happens to be a great watch movie, too.
Directed by Cameron Crowe, who captured the 1970s in Almost Famous and the 1980s in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, this 1990s classic nails the decade’s fashion, music, and watches. There’s really no watch brand that embodies the ’90s more than TAG Heuer (which would explain why Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort wears it in The Wolf of Wall Street). Or why Brad Pitt wears one in Moneyball. In Jerry Maguire, it feels as if the entire cast is outfitted in them. I’d like to think that when the prop master approached Crowe, he stopped her mid-sentence and said “You had me at Heuer.”
Maguire’s watch is TAG Heuer S/el Quartz Chronograph, an analog/digital watch which – if it could talk – would be screaming “look at me! I’m from 1996!” Signature dial elements include an extremely busy three-register layout, 4:30 date window, and the colorful brand logo. And that’s just the beginning. Rounding out the design are L-shaped end links on a black leather strap, plus lugs that swoop like a circus performer’s mustache.
Gooding wears a decidedly tamer two-tone TAG Heuer Professional 200m. Zellweger completes the party with what appears to be a stainless steel Professional Quartz model with a plastic bezel. It’s hard to get a clean look at her watch in the film, so if anyone has a better eye for it, let me know in the comments.
When We’re Watching
In the film’s first act, as Maguire’s entire career spectacularly unravels in a single day [00:25:19], he raises his left hand to his face, showing off his loud and wild TAG S/el to the empty room. This is an important moment because it comes just before his next phone call – to Tidwell – where we get the “Show me the money!” line that became an instant catchphrase and national phenomenon.
Shifting focus to the final act [01:46:41], we find the main characters on a double date in a seafood restaurant smashing crabs with a hammer. The purpose of this scene is to illustrate Maguire’s inability to love unconditionally, and to push the plot forward and help his character grow into the “You complete me” version of himself. For our purposes, however, this scene is significant because it contains the only real watch closeup. That would be Tidwell’s two-tone TAG Heuer Professional, which fills the frame just as his wife bludgeons a crab shell.
Jerry Maguire (starring Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger, and Cuba Gooding Jr.) is directed by Cameron Crowe, with props by Hope Parrish. It’s available to stream on HBO Max and to rent on iTunes or Amazon.
Lead image courtesy, Sony Pictures Entertainment
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