Reporting Julie Fisk
The Trouble with the Curve
“The Trouble with the Curve” stars Clint Eastwood as an aging baseball scout, who struggles to resurrect his career with his daughter’s help.
Remember the scene in “Moneyball” last year, when Brad Pitt laughed at the old baseball scouts and their refusal to embrace technology? Well, this year the old guys are fighting back. Clint Eastwood’s “Gus” is an old-school baseball scout and according to him, a player’s abilities can’t be judged with computers. Gus counts on his eyes & ears but he’s dealing with macular degeneration, so the eyes he has always counted on are failing him. He recruits his daughter Mickey, played by Amy Adams, to help on his latest and possibly LAST recruiting trip, which stirs up long-standing issues between the two.
Eastwood and Adams are lovely actors and they portray a difficult father-daughter relationship with ease. Eastwood also gives the crusty Gus a sense of humor and extra heart, but any gentle touch disappears with the support characters. Justin Timberlake’s new baseball scout is overeager, Matthew Lillard is too sleazy as Gus’ adversary, and the new star baseball star they’re fighting over is already too cocky and obnoxious.
The story is also inexcusably predictable. Gus might be going blind but you’ll see where it’s going within 10 minutes. This is a SPORTS movie though, so there is the satisfying David versus Goliath moment at the end, and that’s why I’m giving “The Trouble with the Curve” a C+. I’m also choosing to believe that Clint Eastwood’s bizarre chair moment at the Republican National Convention was just a publicity stunt. Clint Eastwood as a grouchy old man on film is funny, but in real life it’s kind of depressing.