For a baseball flick, there are dozens of phrases that I could turn into plays-on-words to describe the failure that is ‘Trouble with the Curve’. Personally, I’d like to start this review off by saying, “The trouble with ‘Trouble with the Curve’ is…” but I can’t use that here, because the movie has way too many problems for just one “trouble.” Opening almost exactly one year later, I walked into ‘Trouble with the Curve’ hoping for another ‘Moneyball’, but all I got was a jumbled and messy pile of boring clichés.
The film starts with all focus on Clint Eastwood’s character, Gus, a geriatric scout for the Atlanta Braves whose sight is starting to fail him. This stubborn old man (as if we haven’t seen Eastwood play this character before) shuts out anyone in his life who tries to have a relationship with him – especially his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams). Because her mother died at an early age, her father’s rough edges have rubbed off on the girl. She’s a cold lawyer who neglects her relationships in an attempt to fight her way to the top. For some reason, the only relationship that she works on is one that will never go anywhere – the one with her father.
Noticing that something isn’t quite right with old Gus, his longtime business partner (John Goodman) secretly asks Mickey to go on one last scouting road trip with her old man. Once again needing her daddy’s attention, she leaves her career behind at a crucial time just to be with dear old dad. Familiar clichés ensue.
Prior to seeing it, I expected ‘Trouble with the Curve’ to be fantastic. Unfortunately, I knew that I was in trouble when I found myself checking my watch no more than 15 minutes in. The film picks up a bit when Justin Timberlake’s character finally becomes an ongoing part of the story at the 45-minute mark, but he’s not enough to save it. The whole movie can be summed up by repeating the same several words (“drama,” “cliché,” “talking”) over and over again. ‘Trouble with the Curve’ is a boring movie with a boring script. All in all, it lacks unique design, and feels like the byproduct of someone who made a movie after reading “Filmmaking for Dummies.” Even further distracting is a varying screen ratio that smooshes the characters face from time to time – even changing from shot-to-shot in a scene. The same inconsistency occurs occasionally in weird colorization.
Everything good that ‘Moneyball’ did for baseball is undone by ‘Trouble with the Curve’. A good cast does not necessarily a good movie make. If you’re in the mood for baseball, do yourself a favor and watch a proven baseball flick, or tune into a live MLB game.