Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, and Clint Eastwood star in Trouble with the Curve! Is it worth checking out during a crowded time at the cinema?
Trouble with the Curve is Clint Eastwoodís first starring role since 2009ís Gran Torino, and itís good to see him on the big screen again. I would describe his character in Trouble with the Curve as a PG13 version of Walt Kowalski, his character in Gran Torino. He eats pizza and spam for breakfast, grunts and growls, and doesnít want your help or anyoneís help for that matter. The Eastwood presence on screen is still very much there, even at the age of eighty two. When heís on screen, he commands your attention and time. As they say: once a movie star, always a movie star.
Eastwood stars as Gus Lobel, a baseball scout that has given his life to the sport but has little to show for it. He might have money, but he also has a strained relationship with his daughter and only one true friend. That friend is played by John Goodman in a nice supporting turn. Gusís eyes are going and heís not as spry as he used to be, but baseball is the game he loves and he knows it better than most scouts half his age. Heís sent on a scouting trip by the Atlanta Braves to look at a prospect that is being touted as the next Albert Pujols.
Because of his declining vision, his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), named after Mickey Mantle, goes on the trip with him to make sure nothing happens to him and heís able to properly scout the player. While on this trip, they try to reconnect and form some semblance of a relationship, which is easier said than done with Gus. Gus is also facing incredible pressure from one of his co-workers played by the villainous Matthew Lillard. The Boston Red Sox are also scouting this talent, and they send a former top pitcher played by Justin Timberlake to see if heís the real deal
Trouble with the Curve is not a smart baseball movie at the end of the day and the baseball scenes come off phony. The prospect they are scouting looks and sounds nothing like a real baseball player. He looks like the kind of guy you would see at the local Buffalo Wild Wings watching a game with a beer and wings. It is not Moneyball, thatís for sure. The film is more effective and moving as a human drama with some comedy thrown in the mix as opposed to an insightful baseball flick. Adams brings a tough, no-nonsense likability to her role, and her back and forth with Eastwood is worth the price of admission alone.
This film is like a nice summer night at the ballpark: easy, breezy, relaxing, and fun. Itís the kind of film where you sit back, relax, kick up your feet, and enjoy the scenery. Adult dramas with great performances seem to be on the way back in Hollywood with this film and Hope Springs with Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, and I for one am thrilled by that. Iím a firm believer that Hollywood needs more dramas that allow you into the lives of interesting and well-developed characters. When you have great actors playing these characters and thereís also a sharp screenplay, itís worth your investment.
The 411: Trouble with the Curve is the Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams show. They both give terrific performances that carry the film throughout its entire duration. Itís a little disappointing that the baseball scenes are so poorly executed, and thatís what really holds the film back from being a great movie. This is a good movie that I hope finds a home in peopleís hearts in a crowded theater market right now.