Title: Trouble with the Curve
Genre: Drama, Sport
Director: Robert Lorenz
Screenwriters: Randy Brown
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman
There’s precisely one scene in which Robert Lorenz’s Trouble with the Curve comes to life, and it lasts about a minute. It’s set at a high school baseball game, and features a frustrated pitcher being taunted by the opposing team’s dug-out. Pissed off and unable to find the strike zone, he unleashes a barrage of profanity before walking his power-hitting batter as instructed. (“Have you seen the way I’ve been throwing, coach? I don’t think walking him is going to be a problem.”) It’s literally the only moment in this infuriatingly boring film that doesn’t feel 100% inevitable.
The high school players are, sadly, peripheral to the plot, which involves an elderly baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) on the verge of both blindness and being displaced from his long-time job with the Atlanta Braves by a computer-wielding hotshot (Matthew Lillard). The movie follows him and his estranged lawyer daughter (Amy Adams) as they trek to scout one of the nation’s hottest young prospects. But instead of a movie about baseball, we get endless scenes of Adams canoodling with a young pitcher-turned-scout (Justin Timberlake), while her mustache-twirling bosses threaten to strip her of her partnership prospects for taking a trip with her dad, and the crass modernists at the Braves’ home office conspire to throw Eastwood under the bus. Clint, for his part, gives us an anodyne version of the growling, muttering, what-do-those-damn-doctors-know curmudgeon he unveiled in Gran Torino. Trouble with the Curve is schematic and beyond stupid, mindlessly lionizing the geezers that Moneyball spent two hours justly laughing at. It’s an embarrassment.
— Eugene Novikov