‘Trouble with the Curve’, Robert Lorenz directorial debut film is an entertaining drama that’s better enjoyed at home. The film offers a middle ground for baseball fans as well as those that don’t care for the sport, which I was very happy about. The biggest quality of the film is that although it is surrounded by baseball, it manages to be a story that’s beyond the sport; it’s about human connections and change with some obvious outcomes. There’s nothing extraordinary about the film, but it’s worth a watch to contemplate our own relationships and lives.
Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a baseball scout that has been in the business long enough that even with his fading eyesight, he’s still able to spot talent. Throughout his whole life he’s pushed his only daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams) away; despite that she still decides to join him in a scouting trip, when she finds out about his health condition and how this could affect his career. One of the few things that help them survive this trip is Johnny (Justin Timberlake) an ex-baseball player who Gus had scouted and is there as friendly competition as a scouter himself; his interest in Mickey spark discoveries about Gus and Mickey’s past and present that will change their relationship completely.
The best acting comes from Adams, as she’s able to hold herself up on the screen against a legend like Eastwood and she even steals the spotlight away from him in some scenes. She also gives her character depth and is the glue to the story as she provides and reveals different aspects of her story without overwhelming the audience. I believe there’s a lot of Eastwood himself in the character he plays, a cranky old man who makes us laugh with his tantrums and ways of saying the truth, yet he does show some of the acting he’s known for in two major scenes where he easily put a knot in my throat.
Timberlake just provides us with a lighter aspect the story needs to not get too dramatic, as he reliefs some of the tension between the father and daughter. Phillip (Matthew Lillard) is the bad guy of the movie, as he portrays the new blood coming into the scouting world where computers do most of the scouting; it was interesting to see Lillard in this kind of role, although he has already shown some versatility in his role in ‘The Descendants’.
Making any sort of transition or change is tough and this film portrays that well, it takes us on a journey where we see how theses characters respond to what life sends their way, but most importantly it shows us that they won’t go down without a fight. Lorenz chose a very safe film as his debut, since this isn’t neither here nor there; but, I think the story can resonate with different members of the audience. It’s not life changing but it might make you ponder and evaluate some of the priorities in your life.