Matt’s Review: Adams and Timberlake Score Runs, But ‘Trouble with the Curve’ is Triple-A MaterialBy
The positive grade for this film is solely based on the fact of Amy Adams perfectly personifies her role as an up and coming business woman looking to salvage a bond with her aging father. She has so many different shades in Trouble with the Curve, from strong driven business woman, to a vulnerable single woman, to a baseball expert, and most importantly, a daughter looking for a stronger relationship with her hero, her father. While this film is no where near as strong as Adam’s performance, any fan of the starlet’s work should give this film a chance.
Eastwood of course is the grizzled baseball scout, Gus, for the Atlanta Braves on one of his most important scouting trips. His daughter, Mickey (Adams), joins him because she’s concerned for his deteriorating health. Most of his co-workers think he’s a dinosaur and his methods are a thing of the past. But despite the fact Gus’ tactics are archaic and his vision is beginning to falter, he can still evaluate young baseball prospects like none other. Much of his expertise is passed to his daughter — she helps him formulate his take on the prospects, catching the eye of a young scout named Johnny (Justin Timberlake).
The film is mostly carried by the Adams/Timberlake budding relationship. Watching their comfort level grow as they open up to each other can bring back nostalgic dating memories for any hopeless romantic. The pair has a lot of moments that can make anyone smile with appreciation. Adams always brings flare her roles and this film is no different. She captivates audience attention whenever she is on screen. Her performance probably isn’t going to gain award-type attention, but without her, Trouble with the Curve would fall flat.
Eastwood is a bit annoying and doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table. He always plays this crabby old fart who is emotionally distant. He fits the part, but it gets tiresome seeing him in the same role the past 10 years. The worst character in this entire film is this cocky stereotypical jock baseball prospect that Gus and many others are scouting. He gets way too much screen time and never does anything of value but act like a big douche. He does create a sense of disgust in the audience making us hope for his downfall, but this is just a secondary storyline that didn’t fit into this film’s main theme and didn’t improve the narrative at all.
Trouble with the Curve strikes out (come on, gotta use puns here) with how staged it all feels. At times it feels more like a play or a cheap film than a real environment. It doesn’t feel genuine — it doesn’t have the enchantment of baseball, America’s Pastime, (or expert craftsmanship behind the scenes) coating it like a glossy finish. There is also a pretty ridiculous plot twist deep in the game that feels cheap and extremely convenient.
This film also features some of the worst looking sports action I’ve ever seen — one scene in particular, Eastwood throws about a 30 mph pitch to Adams, a petite woman, which she crushes over the fence (2:08 of this trailer). It’s some of the worst CG I’ve seen this year. The baseball action feels extremely fake. This hurts the audiences’ ability to immerse themselves within the film.
Overall, Trouble with the Curve is more a story about people involved with baseball than baseball itself, which is fine. The film focuses more on the relationships, but in some of the most important moments it wavers back to the baseball angle. The talk of love for baseball is abundant, but the feeling is never overwhelming despite the characters doing all they can to sell it. So really, it doesn’t execute either of these storylines very well.
What Should You Do? If you are annoyed with Eastwood lately, skip it. If you love Amy Adams, see it.