TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (2012)
Clint Eastwood explores the joys of senility in Trouble with the Curve, a ho-hum dramedy about Gus, an aging scout for the Atlanta Braves, and his estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), a type A lawyer. The two haven’t seen each other in years, but when Gus starts having some medical issues that affect his work, Mickey takes it upon herself to put her job on hold to look after her father. The story is basically a father-daughter bonding session over baseball, with a side dish of
sexy back Justin Timberlake as a smooth talking ex-baseball player turned scout for the Boston Red Sox. Seems like a pretty good story at first glance, and it actually does have some potential, only it is squandered by a really lousy script.
I don’t really know what possessed me to rent this film. Maybe it was my love of Amy Adams or the irresistible Timberlake. Whatever it was, it sure wasn’t because I have any particular interest in baseball. In fact, I really don’t enjoy baseball at all. I find it tedious and boring and I just don’t get it. But I figured, hey, I’ve seen Moneyball. I can probably sit through another baseball flick. Despite the ever-endearing Adams and the über charismatic Timberlake however, this film really isn’t very good. It’s chock full of eyeroll-worthy clichés, lazy writing and cheesiness out the wazoo. Even the rom-com lover in me couldn’t take the unimaginative and forced attempt at romance in this film.Some of the romantic scenes in the film were so painfully formulaic they became cringe-worthy. How many times am I going to have to watch a character go skinny dipping in an effort to show off how free-spirited they are?
The whole film was basically Clint Eastwood being old and Amy Adams trying her best to lend some depth to this otherwise kiddie pool-shallow story. I’m still trying desperately to forget the opening scene involving Clint Eastwood goading his penis to pee. After the nth old joke, I just about had it and was ready to quit. Were it not for the dashing Mr. Timberlake, I don’t know if I would have held on for as long as I did. Poor JT was doing everything right, but he was saddled with not a whole lot of character to work with and some seriously cheesy scenarios. He and Amy Adams had great chemistry, but their romance seemed too forced.
I wish that this film spent more time making a serious case for the disappearing art of talent scouting. Instead, the movie seemed too preoccupied making this about the drama between the estranged father and daughter, as well as pushing for the rom-com aspect of it. I was more interested in the differences between scouting players in-person and having the statistics do the work for you, and this is coming from someone who had zero interest in the sport. I found myself more interested in baseball than the relationships in the film because the relationships just felt so contrived. It was as if a rookie screenwriter decided to throw every single movie cliché into one story and figured that audiences would eat it up since Clint Eastwood starred in it. Trouble with the Curve isn’t really worth bothering with, unless you’re a fan of Adams or Timberlake, both of whom were the only interesting aspects of the film (although it was excruciating to see their talent go to waste). As for Clint Eastwood, the man is legendary, but I have no idea why he thought this film was worth emerging from behind the camera for. If I wanted to see a solid movie where Clint Eastwood is being old and awesome, I’d watch Gran Torino.