Movie Review: TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (2012)
I’ve been let down with some sports themed movies. MONEYBALL was supposed to be a fresh take on the game, but ended up being more of an office / clubhouse drama. And I’m sad to say the most recent Clint Eastwood acting vehicle, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, disappointed me in the same way. (The Posters for the two films are also very similar.) Here’s my Movie Review…
Blank Page Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
To be fair, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE was never supposed to be a full on baseball movie. It is more of a drama about the relationship between a father and daughter, using the backdrop of baseball.
Clint Eastwood plays an elderly baseball scout trying to hack it in the age of computer generated statistics and analysis of Athletes, and trying to prove his worthiness. While his daughter, played by Amy Adams is a high-powered attorney with a less than stellar relationship with her dad.
Facing cataracts with deteriorating vision, and quite possibly the last scouting tour of his career, Eastwood is unable to actually do the thing he’s done all this life; look at players, literally. So his daughter comes along for the ride and helps her dad. Growing up with him, she’s a bit of a baseball expert herself.
This sets the stage for TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, as the father-daughter duo use this road trip to spend more time with each other and hash out their decades long repressed feelings. Amy Adams is a powerful actress, as she does an amazing job here, playing the role of a daughter with serious daddy and abandonment issues whilst trying to resolve them with a man very much stuck in the generation of ‘we don’t talk about things’.
The movie itself is paced very moderately. Things happen, then there’s talking, more things and more talking. It’s a nice back and forth. Justin Timberlake has a nice supporting role as another young scout and love interest to Adams, and is charming in the limited capacity he’s in.
Eastwood further patents his ‘grumpy old man’ routine, but for some reason, in this movie… it didn’t feel great. There was something about the story telling or the story itself that felt like it was, the same ol’ thing he’s done a hundred times before.
My biggest problem with TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE is how all things get neatly wrapped up in a bow near the end of the movie. It’s literally a domino effect of closures and happy endings. Eastwood’s instincts prove right for an old man. He gets an option to extend his contract. The weasely Matthew Lillard and Eastwood’s rival gets fired. Adams seems to completely change her career path and abandon her ambition to be a partner at her Law firm to pursue a better career in baseball. (?!) She gets together with Timberlake. Grumpy Eastwood finally understands his daughter after a lifetime of failing to do so. It was all jammed in together so quickly that it felt… wrong.
It was a little cliché and unrealistic how all the ducks line up in the last 10 minutes of the movie and everything works out completely fine. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind happy endings, but it just seemed like they crammed it all together just under the wire. The trouble with TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (pun intended) is that there are good performances with a mediocre script, and the execution didn’t really provide anything that, as an audience makes you want to care for what’s happening.