Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trouble with the Curve: Movie Review


One great character, good comedic chemistry, but many simple turns.

“Trouble with the Curve” starts with Gus (Clint Eastwood) and his curmudgeonly ways going about his job as a baseball scout. The jokes about being old and losing his sight and getting up to pee in the middle of the night aren’t very funny, but the introduction of John Goodman as his boss and best friend, and then Amy Adams as his daughter Mickey, help heighten the level of jokes. 2012

Directed by: Robert Lorenz

Screenplay by: Randy Brown

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake

Gus is off to North Carolina to scout the next home run-hitting phenom; Pete tells Mickey to join him since he’s concerned about his health and abilities. The good news for the majority of people is that this movie is not about baseball, it’s a simple family dramedy. I would have liked more baseball, but I also would have liked accurate baseball. No professional team (in this case the Atlanta Braves) is going to send only one old, partially-blind, disrespected scout to draft their number 1 pick. But that is better than the Boston Red Sox who sent one immature, inexperienced, junior temporary scout to draft their number 1 pick. That honour went to Johnny (Justin Timberlake) who is really only there to be the love interest for Mickey.

The next problem with the film is the very simplistic approach to the supporting characters. The young prospect is a douche-bag and the title tells us why we’re supposed to not like him. The fellow scouts are douche-bags because they believe the opposite of what Gus does, so obviously we can’t like them either. The one “twist” is clearly telegraphed with an otherwise pointless scene and added sound effects to make sure we don’t miss the significance.

But the film is still able to add an overall warmth and humour to make it enjoyable. This is particularly through Amy Adams. She was delightful as a young career woman struggling to come to terms with her relationship with her father and figuring out what makes her happy in her life. She and Timberlake may not have the best romantic chemistry, but they do have great comedic chemistry, and I would trade for that any day.

I’m still trying to figure out why Mickey was described as being smart when none of her actions indicate intelligence, but there is generally no requirement for smart characters, only likeable ones, and she is likable. She had an effortless versus put-together sexiness mixed with her tomboy nature that made her very appealing. But one character does not make up for an ensemble relationship movie.