Thursday, September 20, 2012

Movie Review - Trouble With the Curve

Clint Eastwood accepting his age? In Trouble with the Curve he plays Gus, the scout for the Atlanta Braves. He's crotchety, can barely see, need an earpiece to amplify his hearing and orders pizza delivered for breakfast so he won't end up burning his house down cooking. He's sent to North Carolina to scout what everyone is expecting will be the next big thing in baseball. The Braves have the number 2 pick and this high schooler is what they think they need so draft choice rides on his scouting report.

He's not just a grumpy old man. He also has a somewhat fragile relationship with his only daughter Mickey played by Amy Adams. Her dad is a baseball scout, Mickey isn't short for shit. That's her real name. She’s high powered lawyer about to make partner at her firm. She's the typical daddy's girl everything she does is to please him even if its not what he wants. She’s making tons of money working and living her life, dad wants her to date so she can have a husband to take care of her. He's set in his ways. When her dad's old friend and boss Pete played by John Goodman, asks her to join her dad on the scouting trip you know this isn't really a movie about baseball. Its a movie about father's and daughters.

Justin Timberlake is Johnny, is a rival scout, his teams has the number 1 pick and are also thinking about taking this kid. He was scouted by Gus when he was a player, the Braves drafted him rode him hard and he blew out his arm. Ended up traded then no longer playing, he's using this as a jump to the announcers box, if he pulls this off that job is his. He of course is completely taken with Mickey. She having no time for a social live takes a hell of a lot of work for him to charm her. There's also the arrogant guy who wants Gus' job (Matthew Lillard) he's aiming to push him out or and if he plays his cards right get all the way to GM. The owner Vince (Robert Patrick) spends his time in-between the old ways and the new not sure what's a better ideal. The kid they want to recruit? World-Class asshole. Bo Gentry fully believes he's god's gift and knows he's going to go high in the draft he's playing so he can get his dream of banging all the Desperate Housewives. Yes there are some small town country jokes up in there too.

The father and daughter really start off extremely rocky. He's mad she's there, she's upset he hasn't been telling her about his hearing and especially his vision going. He isn't willing to let her know that he thinks he screwed up raising her because she was on the road with him a few years. She needs him to know she spent years in therapy thinking he sent her away to live with family and boarding school because she thought he didn't want her anymore. The hole between them and how they view each other is massive but they bound over baseball and finally acknowledge why he sent her away after her mom died and how she's done everything she has to make him notice her. Its a heartfelt story about how the mother's death drove them apart but baseball was their one connector and with time acknowledgment and some leaps of faith they could repair that hole and get back to a normal relationship. The love each other but they are both stubborn and its funny to see them fight with each other. Sure there's baseball, and Johnny spends ¾ of the movie trying to get Mickey to go out with him, their romance is a subplot but Justin Timberlake goes some good comic relief. Of course Nope nothing bad happens to Bo before the draft, you want him to die in a fire & he gets drafted and all, but the movie isn't over, what happens after the draft is the payoff and the happily ever after for all the people you tend to like in general. Will except Gus, Your not really supposed to like him but he doesn't die.

I give this movie a Matinee. Its no Moneyball which I think is much better than this, but its an enjoyable film thats not really about baseball but about the people who have baseball weaved into their lives. Trouble with the Curve is rated PG-13. It clocks in just under 2 hours and opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow.


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