[Quick Summary: When a dissatisfied sports agent tries to take a higher road, he is fired & must start over with only one client.]
When people said, "You have to read 'Jerry Maguire'!", I didn't want to.
So I'll understand if you don't want to read it either.
But if you ever want to see great pacing & character set up, read the first 10 pages of this script.
The pacing is brisk, yet we see a completely character based snapshot of Jerry & his problems.
p.1 - In a montage, we see Jerry's sports clients. [A-ha! Jerry is a sports agent.]
p. 2 - Jerry is hard at work negotiating for a NFL client. [He excels at his job.]
p. 3 - Jerry competes at the office with his fellow agents. [This is a story about good guy vs. bad guys.]
p. 4 - We see Jerry losing heart because sports is now more about money. [Jerry is a decent guy.]
p. 5 - Jerry is even more disillusioned when a severely injured client insists on playing because of a bonus. [Our hero will face questionable decisions.]
p. 6 - Jerry writes his Manifesto & reclaims some honor. [We're hopeful!]
p. 7 - The Manifesto gives Jerry hope. [More hope!]
p. 8 - His fellow agents read the Manifesto & applaud him. [Uh-oh...niggling doubts.]
p. 9 - We meet Dorothy, who is Jerry's guardian angel & antagonist. [Hope again!]
p. 10 - Jerry confides in a fellow passenger about his shaky love life. [This is not good.]
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Great pacing = My eyes never slowed down or backtracked.
Why? Because the character & his conflicts were clear and were revealed on a rolling basis.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
by Cameron Crowe