Trouble with the Curve
“Trouble with the Curve” is a nice little movie. It is a baseball movie to be enjoyed by baseball fans and non-fans (like me) alike. The best way to describe “Trouble with the Curve,” without giving away too much, is that has a good story populated with top notch actors playing real people. The story and direction are simple and direct.
“Trouble with the Curve” stars Clint Eastwood as Gus, a craggy old baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves, whose eyesight is failing. Gus is a tough guy loner who loves his job and refuses to see a specialist after his eye doctor tells him he has macular degeneration. Eastwood turns down his tough guy persona to somewhere around crotchety, although he does have one scene, in a bar, where he becomes violent. In a business where aging is not considered an asset, I give Eastwood credit for being willing to play Gus warts and all. Gus is a tough yet vulnerable and wrinkled old man trying to hang onto the job he loves.
Amy Adams plays Mickey, Gus’ daughter, a successful, hard working lawyer trying to make partner in her Atlanta law firm. Mickey comes to the aid of her ailing father, who is in denial about his condition, to help him scout baseball players. Adams’ Mickey is adorable, caring and tough.
Ultimately the story is about the relationship between Gus and Mickey. Eastwood and Adams play off each other perfectly, convincing us that these are two people with a shared past. The result is that we care about both of these characters. What more could one ask of a movie?
The supporting cast is also quite good. Justin Timberlake co-stars as a fellow baseball scout named Johnny, who has a past with Gus. As in “The Social Network” Timberlake proves to be a fine actor and not just a singer who scored an acting gig. John Goodman appears in a nice, low key performance as Gus’ boss and friend Pete Klein, who always has Gus’ back. Timberlake and Goodman, along with the rest of the cast, play convincing characters without doing star turns.
First time director Robert Lorenz has done a credible, workman like job of guiding this film. The script, by Randy Brown, is a bit predictable in parts but never in a way that would try one’s patience. As a screenwriting teacher of mine once said, “Give the audience what it wants, but not in the way it is expecting it.” “Trouble with the Curve” does just that.
“Trouble with the Curve” is playing locally at Regal Union Square Stadium 14, 850 Broadway and at AMC Loews Kips Bay 15, 570 2nd Avenue.
“Trouble with the Curve,” director Robert Lorenz, 2012,
Warner Bros. Pictures, 111 minutes, Rated PG-13