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Trouble with the Curve




Released: 30th November 2012

Certificate: 12A

Director: Robert Lorenz

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and John Goodman

Reviewer: Katey Stoetzel

I will be the first one to admit that I did not want to see Clint Eastwood’s new movie Trouble with the Curve. But being in a small town limits my movie choices, and so I went. I’m not a fan of baseball, although I like the idea of baseball, and I also really love last year’s Moneyball, so I was reluctant to see its antithesis.

But I’ve decided it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Clint Eastwood plays Gus, an aging baseball scout with three months left on his contract. Amy Adams plays his daughter, Mickey (after Mickey Mantle) a lawyer whom also has a knack for baseball.

As it so happens, Gus is slowly losing his sight. Because of this, Mickey is sent by John Goodman to North Carolina to keep an eye on her dad on his last scouting trip.

I know it’s Clint Eastwood, and I know it’s America’s game, and Amy Adams is good in everything, and Justin Timberlake is Justin Timberlake, but the pace of this movie is super slow. The first act takes forever. I felt like Gus and Mickey had the same argument about five times within a space of 45 minutes with no conclusion. However, the pace does pick up when they end up on the actual scout trip at a high school in North Carolina.  The movie is also somewhat predictable.

Despite the pace, the chemistry between Adams and Eastwood is phenomenal. Their witty banter back and forth is what makes the movie. Adding to the smart dialogue is Justin Timberlake as Johnny, a former pitcher for the Braves now scouting for the Red Sox. The romantic relationship between Mickey and Johnny is smart. Nothing is too rushed, and plays out as a good side story to the bigger picture.

However, there are some things the writers did get wrong. The high schooler they are scouting is named Bo Gentry, the all star player of his high school team. The thing about Bo is that he is a stereotypical jock, with lines that are flat out stupid, lame, and face-palm worthy.  The rival sports agents are just as bad as our boy Gentry here, and I cringed every time they opened their mouths. Although, John Goodman was okay as Gus’s best friend. Another problem I had with the writing was with Mickey’s sort of boyfriend in the beginning. While at dinner, Greg says “I’m an attorney, you’re an attorney. We’re perfect together.” So does this mean that every movie critic out there is perfect for me? Oh okay I see how this love thing works now.  Also, to move Johnny and Mickey’s relationship forward, Greg randomly shows up again in the middle of the movie, asking Mickey if she has the same feelings for him that he does for her. All she says is “I can’t answer that right now,” and then he responds “I see. Have a nice life.” There is only one explanation for this breakup and that is it was convenient for the writers.

What’s more, the message is a little obvious throughout the movie. While Moneyball focused on what baseball is like on paper, Trouble with the Curve is heavy with the sentimental aspect of baseball. And while this can be a good thing, it comes off as forced. If I had a dollar for the number of times we were presented with the generational gap between Gus and Mickey, or rather between Generation X and Generation Y, through the use of technology vs. paper, I could pay for the players the Oakland A’s needed back in 2002.

But ultimately, this movie isn’t about baseball, but rather the relationship between a father and daughter, which comes across very nicely. The depth of their story goes way back and Eastwood and Adams do a fantastic job with hitting the emotion just right.

Some of the shots were really nice as well. There was a clear picture throughout, and a lot of good transitions. However, some of the editing could be sharpened up a bit. Also, the flashback scenes are awkward. I never understand the need for flashback scenes if they aren’t absolutely needed, and here, they aren’t.

As someone who wasn’t expecting much from this movie, I found myself enjoying the compelling, heart-warming story of a father and a daughter. But if I was someone excepting this to be The Next Big Clint Eastwood/Baseball Movie, it’s not. Not even close.

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