In the 1990s, Tom Cruise was a huge movie star, even bigger than he is today. In 1996 alone, he starred in the first Mission Impossible blockbuster and today’s film of choice, Jerry Maguire. It was 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. In the midst of all that, Maguire falls in love with his only employee, Dorothy Boyd. This is not only a sports movie, but also a romantic comedy, but really it’s one great game of Tag – as in TAG Heuer.
The closing ceremony of the 2020 Olympics takes place this weekend, but the Olympics aren’t the only sporting event going on right now. Between Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, NBA free agency, and the start of NFL training camp, it’s a full-blown sports frenzy. Where there are elite athletes, there are agents. Sports agents are responsible for negotiating on behalf of athletes in terms of contracts, in addition to acting as their representatives in all areas of the sport and beyond.
Directed by Cameron Crowe, who captured the 1970s in Almost Famous and the 1980s in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, this 1990s classic is a portrait of the decade’s fashion, music, and exact replica watches. There really is no watch brand that captures the 90’s better than TAG Heuer. Or why Brad Pitt wore one in “Moneyball”. In Jerry Maguire, it felt as if the entire cast was wearing them. I think when the prop man approached Crowe, he interrupted her and said, “You remind me of TAG Heuer.”
The two-tone TAG Heuer Professional 200m worn by Gooding is definitely more modest. Zellweger wears what appears to be a stainless steel Professional-type quartz replica watch with a plastic bezel that completes the party. It’s hard to make out her watch in the film, so if anyone has a better eye, please let me know in the comments.
In the film’s first act, as Maguire’s entire career spectacularly unravels in a single day, he raises his left hand to his face, showing off his loud and wild TAG S/el to the empty room. This is a crucial 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.
The aim at the scene is to illustrate Maguire’s inability to love unconditionally and to move the plot forward, helping his character grow into his “you complete me” self. For our purposes, however, this scene is significant because it contains the only real close-up of the fake watch. That would be Tidwell’s two-tone TAG Heuer Professional watch, which fills the frame just as his wife knocks on the crab shell.