He sweats too much
Everybody sweats -- even Tom Cruise. But isn’t it weird that a film about a law student opens with him drenched in Kevin Garnett levels of sweat out on the basketball court? This is the first image we get of Mitch McDeere, Cruise’s hot-shot lawyer character with an alliteration-happy Grisham name. The dialogue in this scene indicates he’s playing pick-up with an older professor, so again I ask: Why so much sweat? Chill, Maverick -- this isn’t beach volleyball.
After the opening basketball scene, things go swimmingly for Mitch. Yes, he has to tend bar to bay Harvard Law bills, but he's also interviewing with all the top law firms, including the mysterious Memphis firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which will soon make him an offer he can't refuse, and dining on Chinese with his beautiful wife (there's no better shorthand for showing that someone is overworked than some white cartons of mu shu chicken). For the first nine minutes, this is a pretty normal movie about a sweaty lawyer.