Movie Review: Trouble With The Curve (2012)

Posted: August 3, 2013 in Drama
Tags: ,

trouble with the curve

Gus (Clint Eastwood) is an aging scout for the Atlanta Braves, who is losing his eyesight from macular degeneration.  Gus’ daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams) is a lawyer, whose workaholic personality has her in line for a partnership at her law firm.  Mickey tries to maintain a relationship with gruff old Gus, but he keeps his distance,  just as she keeps her distance from perspective suitors.  Gus has two months left on  his contract as a scout, and the Braves ask him to go to North Carolina to scout a can’t-miss prospect named Bo Gentry (Joe Massingil).  The Red Sox have sent a scout, Johnny,(Justin Timberlake) to scout Bo.  Johnny was a big-league pitcher until he ruined his arm.  Now his last shot at glory is being a good scout which may lead to a job as an announcer.  Mickey comes to North Carolina a few days later to help scout Bo with her ailing father.  Johnny approaches the emotionally distant Mickey socially, but she seems disinterested.  What does Gus think of the hot prospect?  Does he resolve his issues with his estranged daughter?

I found Trouble With The Curve disingenuous and insincere.  When I think of my favorite baseball movies, Bull Durham and The Natural to name two, they seem to revel in baseball lore.  Bull Durham contrasts the dreams of minor leaguers to make it to “The Show” to the  vision with a grizzled veteran, who’s been to the big leagues and wants to go back, and does so with a lot of laughs.  The Natural evokes an almost mystical vison of the mythic skills of a an aging veteran, just the histrionics of Roy Hobbs hitting a home run into the light tower and watching those lights exploding, the music, the magic bat, it all plays into the mythology of baseball, from farm boy to legend.  Trouble With The Curve is just a series of clichés about baseball that are so obvious and so ham-handedly delivered, that it is obvious how the plot will unwind and how it will resolve itself.  I like Clint Eastwood a lot as an actor and director, and have for a long time, but he’s gone to the grumpy curmudgeon well once too often.  I compare this movie unfavorably to Gran Torino, Eastwood plays the same grumpy old man character, but that character is a lot more unpredictable and the resolution of that plot is a lot more satisfying.  One more thing, the idea that the short, overweight Bo Gentry would be on any scouting list is an insult to even a casual baseball fan.

Amy Adams plays tough girl again, but this time the acting seems staged she is clearly uncomfortable with the baseball lingo, and she even seems uncomfortable with Eastwood.  The romance with Timberlake does not work, and she has no chemistry at all with Timberlake.  Timberlake is an awful actor, who has no natural cadence when he tries to act.  The guy has a look on his face that says,” Look at me, I’m cool.”  Trust me, his acting is not cool.  The pacing is slow and the movie is long, and in the end, this movie is not worth the effort it takes to watch it.

Trouble With The Curve.  Don’t fall for this pitch.

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