Thoughts on Trouble with the Curve

Adams and Eastwood? I’m in.

Well, this review and this movie remind me more than anything else, how I don’t have to absolutely love everything I watch. Now, that’s not meant to be anything negative about this movie, but rather just an observation. This was a perfectly good movie that I just did not love. My point, and I do have one, is that just because I do not love something, doesn’t mean it’s horrible or bad.

Trouble with the Curve shows Clint Eastwood as an aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. Eastwood has a routine where he goes from small town to small town scouting young talent; he’s done this for years and likes the way things are. The problem is that Eastwood is much, much older now and to make matters worse, his vision is slowly leaving him which is never a good thing for a baseball scout, at any age.

This is not so much a baseball movie, as it is a movie about an aging father and his daughter which happens to have sprinkles of baseball on it. The always wonderful Amy Adams plays a very work-minded attorney and Eastwood’s daughter. Her relationship with her father is, to put it nicely, strained. The two have never really had a strong relationship, except for their love of baseball. Her mother and Eastwood’s wife died when she was just a little girl, and when that happened she was sent away to live with one of her uncles. Pretty much, Eastwood couldn’t handle the situation, and even to the present day, cannot really communicate with his daughter.

This is a very predictable, crowd-pleasing film, much in the same vein as The Blind Side. There is nothing wrong with that at all, movies like this are sometimes needed. Sometimes, things get too serious and you need a movie like this to uplift you. Now watching Eastwood and some of the situations relating to the man aging are not always easy to watch, but in movies like these, you just know it will have a happy ending so you just endure the bad moments, knowing that things will turn around before it’s all said and done.

In the film, the Atlanta Braves have the number one pick in the upcoming draft and are on the fence when it comes to a very young (and very cocky) high school prospect. Eastwood is sent to scout this young man, and when the organization begins to have doubts about Eastwood, John Goodman, who plays the man in charge of scouting, gets Eastwood’s daughter Adams, to join her father on the road and see how the old man is doing and if he can still get things done. Goodman is a genuine friend of Eastwood’s character and not only wants his good friend to keep his job but also want the father and daughter to spend time together.

So she joins him on the road where Eastwood doesn’t really want her around, but she sticks her ground and the two are on a slow course to reconciliation. While on the road, we are introduced to Adams’ love interest and ex-baseball player turned scout for the Boston Red Sox (in the movie), Justin Timberlake. The sometimes snarky Timberlake here comes off likeable and you don’t really mind as you watch the relationship unfold between him and Adams, Eastwood doesn’t really seem to mind either.

So everyone is sold on this cocky high-schooler who disrespects everyone from his teammates to even the guy in the stands selling popcorn. We find out that yes the kid can crush a fastball but he has real troubles with the curve (see what I did there). There’s some betrayal involving Matthew Lillard’s character, who plays an assistant to the General Manager and despite Eastwood letting the organization know that this kid will be a bust, they draft him anyways. I won’t get too much into the ending but I will just say that when things go dark and look a but grim, there is redemption for the main characters, even if things are wrapped up a bit too nicely. Like I said, it is a very crowd-pleasing film with a very crowd-pleasing ending. Hey, even the guy selling popcorn gets some retribution on the high-school punk, I mean prospect.

It’s a treat watching Adams here, while she is serious during most of the film, the times she does let her hair down is when the film excels. Watching her as a huge baseball fan that puts most male sports fans to shame, makes her that much more desirable. We certainly know that there isn’t too many more Eastwood performances left so even with the man’s latest crazy antics, we really have to enjoy and appreciate each and every time the man does step in front of the camera.

The film and Eastwood sticks to a predictable format, but sometimes, in certain situations, there is nothing wrong with that. Being a huge baseball fan, I of course would have liked if it had more actual baseball in it but I also knew coming in, what this film would not be. Despite that, I still liked this film very much and feel that it’s worth checking out. It has a good mixture of Eastwood, Adams, baseball and comedy. You could certainly ask for more, as it was nowhere near a perfect film, but it was good for what it was. You want a crowd-pleasing, charming film that will make you smile, this is certainly the film for you.


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