2:34 into the movie. Tom Selleck jogs in a pair of white hot pants that bounce uncomfortably and a beach blue tank top. This outfit calls into question the idea that you’re watching a family movie. He jogs in place and chats up a female jogger heading the other way before they run off together. These shorts are only missing the catcalls of New York construction workers.
17:18. How does an architect find the time to jog so much? The same shorts from the jogging scene mentioned next (14:29) are inexplicably higher on Selleck’s frame. We now see a slight thigh gap. I am as perplexed by what’s happening as Selleck is by the appearance of a baby.
14:29. Despite just using a rowing machine in white sweatpants and grey tank-top, Selleck is now rocking a pair of blue shorts with the same tank top while running the streets with multiple newspapers under his arms (he’s got that Big Media Energy). The tank-top is a little longer, which helps with modesty, while the darker color of the shorts (an honest mid-thigh) is a nice contrast to Selleck’s base tan. There’s an awkward moment on his haunches before the elevator opens and reveals the titular baby as the shorts giveth and taketh away.
53:23. Here, we understand that Tom Selleck isn’t afraid to cut a shirt. He’s trimmed his red sweatshirt to mid-bicep and has on, what I assume, were once oatmeal grey sweatpants reborn as cut and rolled shorts. These have rucked up like an accordion and only a baby and children’s book stand between the viewer and indecency.
These turn out to be his most versatile shorts. He can wrestle his roommate in them. Play pool with abandon. And even wrestle his other roommate in them.
1:20:41. By now, you’re just wondering if Selleck was fishing for a shorts endorsement. The baby is crying and he rolls up in an open robe the color of the Cowardly Lion. There is no shirt, just Selleck’s fur blanket chest and a pair of tight baby blue boxer shorts that threaten to fly open. Selleck closes his robe after three seconds, because, you know, modesty; and then famously sings “Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite,” with Danson and Guttenberg, who are wearing just a nightshirt (no shorts) and robe, respectively.
1:17:35. Selleck has his collared shirt tucked into his shorts, sans belt. The shirt is open, but only to allow an athlete the free range of motion to casually flick a frisbee. These are short cargo shorts, khaki in color, ending where the pockets would usually start. They represent the inner calm, the idea that he has finally accepted who he is… these are dad shorts.
This entire outfit returns at 1:39:07 for the final scene of the movie. This is notable only because NO ONE ELSE IS WEARING SHORTS.
2:50. After seemingly spending the night with the jogger we met in the opening credits, he walks her out. He hands her back her headband because he is a gentleman. He’s got on a plaid shirt unbuttoned to the third button and white shorts that rest about two inches above the knee. This is the chaste Selleck.
They kiss goodbye twice. His fellow jogger lets out a long, exaggerated breath and flutters her hand over her heart as the elevator door shuts. “Bad Boy,” by Miami Sound Machine, sees us all out.