Directed by: Robert Lorenz
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman
Sassi’s Star Rating: 3.5/5
You might know where this good old fashioned sports movie is going to take you, but that doesn’t make it any less of an enjoyable ride. Behind the baseball jargon The Trouble with the Curve is a heartfelt story about a broken father-daughter bond, and the importance of heart and instinct in the age of statistics and technology.
Aging baseball scout Gus (Eastwood) is loosing his eyesight, and with it his ability to do his job. Devoted to the game (and his work) his entire life, retirement equals a life without purpose. Good friend Pete sees Gus being forced out by the new breed of corporate sleaze (headed by Matthew Lillard) and convinces his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to a sabbatical from her successful Law career to help Gus out with one last draft.
Adams is on fire as the tightly strung workaholic with a huge, gaping whole where the knowledge of her fathers love should be. She and Eastwood circle around each other with expert capacity before going par for par in an all out battle of wills. It’s not an easy task to hold yourself against Dirty Harry, but Adams doesn’t bat an eyelash. Let’s just forget that the last time we saw Eastwood clash with a rival, it was an empty chair at August’s Republican National Convention.
Yet Eastwood’s recent eccentricities feed perfectly into his portrayal of Gus, cranky and bordering on the edge of senility. Close ups of the haggard face of a man clinging to the edges of his independence while he struggles to read the paper, use the bathroom, and walk across his living room are uncomfortable. They’re not the images we are used to associating with the quintessential tough guy of modern cinema. It makes you wonder how many more Eastwood films there will be to come.
Robert Lorenz makes a solid directorial debut with this film, though he has spent a long time training wit the best; working as a Second Unit Director on numerous Eastwood projects from Bridges of Madison County all the way to Million Dollar Baby.
Newlywed Timberlake gets a look in as new scout on the block Johnny, who shines a light for Mickey. He gets more likable as the movie progresses but it is hard to pretend that there is a lot in the way of chemistry between Hollywood’s golden children.
Likeable performances and good writing keep this sports drama rolling, while good pacing never lets the sometimes heavy plot become weighed down. There’s enough to keep this film interesting for both sexes on date night. Plus who doesn’t feel good watching the underdog give the proverbial one finger salute to uncaring suits (figuratively anyway)?
For a well crafted sports flick that you can both enjoy The Trouble with the Curve is in cinemas now.
Category: Film & TV