Trouble with the Curve - Sweet and Entertaining, but not Memorable

                      Clint Eastwood, at the age of 82,  is not the only actor of his age to be working steadily, but he is the only one who continues to develop, benefiting from his already known and much praised sense of ease and naturalism in front of the camera. That's Clint Eastwood as an actor, but as a director he is far most accomplished and one of the best senior filmmakers around. Robert Lorenz's "Trouble with the Curve" reminds that there is a reason he has been a movie star all these years; his gravely voice is in good form, his grunts and groans still sound threatening. It's also the first time he has starred as an actor in somebody else’s work since “In the Line of Fire” (1993). 

                     Trouble with the Curve plays like a weird tangent to Gran Torino, or the flip-side to Moneyball, or just moves like the eccentric output of a rookie screenwriter, Randy Brown. However, the movie is an agreeable entertainment, in spite of everything. The movie can be simply watched for its valedictory tone struck by the golden star.

     Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) is the most acclaimed baseball scout, who has stayed the best thanks to his finally honed skills, love of the game, and common sense. Gus' computer-savvy officials of the Atlanta Braves (Matthew Lillard), figures it’s time for him to retire. Pete (John Goodman), Gus' buddy for 30 years, still believes he has what it takes and asks them to allow Gus to check out the high school baseball star in North Carolina everyone is talking about. But, Gus is almost and tries hard to hide the condition. He barely sees a baseball and can’t even walk through his own home without busting into furniture.

                      The only person who could help Gus with his assignment is the only person he would never ask: his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), a smart, powerful associate at an law firm. She has never felt to be close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife.Mickey gets to know of her father's condition and decides to accompany him on the trip. Over Gus' objections she joins him and  they repeatedly run into Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a former prospect Gus scouted years ago. What happens from there is very much predictable. 

                 Clint Eastwood is not a great or versatile actor like De Niro, Brando or Al Pacino, but within his limited range of characters he knows just what to do. We have all liked him dearest when he’s at his most hard-boiled -- from the 'Dollars trilogy' to 'Gran Torino.'  He is enjoyable once again and gives a compelling screen presence. Clint has always been the craggy, cantankerous guy, so the emotional impact upon us when he breaks down as he sings “You Are My Sunshine” at his wife’s grave, is deceptively powerful. That's like watching a furtive tear from a tough Grandfather.

                  The other excellent performance comes from Amy Adams as a feisty and strong-willed young woman. It's a pleasure to witness her trading barbs with her father and to see her hit a baseball in practice with a spontaneous cartwheel. Timberlake is impressive with his easy-going performance as Johnny. Director Lorenz, who has worked as a producer and assistant director to Eastwood for many years, seems to have plainly transferred the sentimental and corny script by Randy Brown onto the big screen.

                 This is one of the old-time easy-going movie with an occasionally preposterous story and satisfying performances. "Trouble with the Curve" mostly looks like a game, with nothing much at stake, but Eastwood and Adams make the father-daughter melodramatic journey more entertaining than it has the right to be. 


Trouble with the Curve - IMDb


Haricharan Pudipeddi said...

Will check it out soon :) Downloaded it recently.. Will return with a comment

Defiant Princess said...

was not sure if I should download the movie or not.. now will watch soon!
thanks for d review.
P.S. love your blog, i'm a movie buff too and always looking for new good flicks to watch. yours help a lot.

now following.

Arun Kumar said...

@Haricharan, Thanks for the comment. Nice movie, could be watched for Eastwood.

@Defiant Princess, Thanks for the comment. Glad to hear those words, keep visiting the blog.