The Independent

Trouble with the Curve

Matthew Greenberg, Sports Editor

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courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

Rating: 3 out of 5

To say this movie is the “feel good hit of the season” would be somewhat of a stretch, but it certainly has moments that will bring a smile to a viewer’s face. Clint Eastwood stars as Gus Lobel, an aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves whose best years are definitely behind him. Eastwood’s performance could be characterized as somewhat pleasant. This film is a far cry from his commanding roles as Dirty Harry or the Man With No Name, but Eastwood’s experience and natural talent add flavor to his character. Eastwood provides a few laughs and enough frustration and conflict as Gus for the audience to grapple with and stay interested.

Amy Adams, on the other hand, delivers a home run performance as Gus’s daughter, Mickey (named after Mickey Mantle), a blossoming lawyer up for a partnership at her law firm. The trials and tribulations the audience endures with her as Mickey struggles to make sense out of her tense relationship with her father keeps us eagerly anticipating her next scene. Quite simply, Adams sweeps her co-star under the rug, as Alison Willmore of Movieline says, “[Adams] does it while steering clear of the stereotypical ruts that could have mired her performance in mediocrity.”

Unfortunately, even the help of impressive supporting actors such as John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, and Matthew Lillard could not pull this movie out of its predictable storyline and repetitive, for lack of a better word, action. The audience gets tired of the film trying to be too many things. Is it a father-daughter relationship drama? Is it an inside look at the scouting world of major league baseball? Is it a romantic comedy? Or is it simply about an old man looking for his last hurrah before retirement? Needless to say, there were a few too many themes that were far too incomplete. But who is to blame? Certainly not Adams, as her banner needs no more toting, nor is it Eastwood, although a slightly better role choice in the future would be appreciated. Perhaps director Robert Lorenz, Eastwood’s longtime assistant director, wasn’t able to handle moving up the totem pole to the director’s chair. More likely, however, it is writer Randy Brown’s sorry excuse for a script, that yields little more to work with than the same scene played out five different times in five different locations, and dialogue that an audience could complete before the conversations even take place. At least we get to enjoy seeing Clint Eastwood yell at multiple inanimate objects. At the end of the day, Trouble with the Curve earns itself 3 out of 5 stars.

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Trouble with the Curve