Trouble With The Curve
A grizzled Clint Eastwood and excellent Amy Adams hold this predictable, sentimental story together
Given that most Clint Eastwood fans thought Gran Torino marked his farewell to acting, Trouble With The Curve comes as an unexpected bonus. It's no vintage but it is an engaging family drama, set against the backdrop of professional baseball, that has something to say about dealing with old age and the vagaries of modern life as reflected in the changes in the film's chosen sport.
Eastwood plays veteran baseball scout Gus, a legend with the Atlanta Braves, who’s failing eyesight and old-fashioned values have placed him at odds with the game's incoming top brass, who rely on computer data to assess player potential rather than old-school methods. As such, the film even functions as an anti-Moneyball.
Faced with one last chance to prove his worth, Gus heads to the Carolinas to check out a major new prospect with his estranged daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), for whom the trip represents a crossroads in her own life. It affords her the chance to question some of her father's decisions while putting her high-flying career as an attorney at risk, as well as offering a shot at romance with a former baseball player, turned scout (Justin Timberlake), who is close to Gus.
Directed by long-time Eastwood cohort Robert Lorenz, Trouble With The Curve works because of its performances. Few can hold a candle to Eastwood when playing things grizzled and he also does self-deprecating well, while Adams is excellent as his daughter. The only real problem is that the film should have thrown in a few more dramatic curve-balls given that the story is so predictable and the ending groan-inducing and sentimental. But it's a small price to pay for seeing Eastwood on-screen once again.