“Trouble With the Curve,” a predictable film that misses the strike zone

By Ryan Sacco


Trouble with the Curve had the potential to be a major blockbuster with the acting talent it possessed, but in the words of Bob Uecker, the film misses “juuust a bit outside!”

The perfectly casted Clint Eastwood and extraordinarily talented Amy Adams pair up as a complicated father and daughter duo in this heartfelt baseball drama.

Eastwood portrays an aging but brilliant baseball scout who is losing his eyesight and is trying to prove his worth in a changing world of baseball scouting. Used to relying purely on his knowledge of baseball, his biggest competitors are now using computers and statistics to choose their prospects.

Adams, a young but high-profile attorney, accompanies her father to a scouting session in order to help him perform his job, much to his dismay, at the expense of her career. While trying to rebuild a relationship with her father, she is simultaneously trying to understand his reasons for abandoning her at a young age.

Justin Timberlake portrays a rival baseball scout who was previously scouted by Eastwood years before and predictably portrays Adams’s love flame. Timberlake and Eastwood both work together and against each other in trying to figure out if a top prospect is really worth all of the buzz that surrounds him.

The acting is superb in this film. Eastwood does a great depiction of the ailing baseball scout, sporting his vintage grumpiness and stubborn persona. Eastwood also has some heart wrenching acting moments that show that he still has it. Adams gives a stellar performance as a heartbroken daughter who just wants to please her father. Adams and Eastwood have created a dynamic, silver screen relationship that proves that this film was superbly casted.

The versatile Timberlake also does a great job as a washed-up pitcher turned scout. Timberlake represents the Red Sox, who have the first pick of the season. It is imperative that he makes the right decision to further the pursuit of his dream of announcing for the Red Sox. Timberlake and Eastwood have a strong relationship in the film and their characters share a mutual respect. Timberlake and Adams do well exhibiting a strong attraction between them and their conversations make for some fantastic scenes.

Now, the talent is great in this film and the story has great potential, but the execution is where it falls apart.

There are two stories that make up this film: The relationship and secrets between Eastwood and Adams, and then Eastwood trying to prove that his baseball knowledge is indispensable when compared to a computer’s ability to decide who the next Albert Pujols is.

Each story has its own conflict, but they never parallel each other and that is what makes the story feel uneven.

The story is extremely cheesy and superficial. First-time director Robert Lorenz does a very disappointing job in translating the script to the big screen. Lorenz does not delve deep enough into either story and he sprinkles major plot points at different points of the movie without any substance or lead in.

Lorenz does not allow enough time between scenes to digest what has happened and the story feels rushed on big screen because of the major plot points just thrown in at inopportune moments.

The major issues with this film are its cheesiness and predictability. Now, most baseball films are cheesy and predictable, but this one strikes-out the rest. The ending of the film is what should have been the overarching story, which is what director Lorenz should have focused on.

Instead, Lorenz just threw in a hanging curveball at the ending that was meant to be a surprise, but really it was easily spotted early on in the film.

The cast’s acting ability is nothing to be trifled with. It has a heartfelt story in regards to the relationship between Eastwood and Adams and even Timberlake. The conflicts in both stories are strong and make it an intriguing movie, but Lorenz does a poor job in blending the two plots together into one story.  The editing and directing of the film overshadow the quality acting because of its superficiality and predictable, shallow script.

The film had the potential to be a true Hollywood blockbuster with its talent and strong story. Unfortunately, the two stories in this film did not mix well together and make it seem as if two different movies are playing at the same time.

Even if the ending had been used as the major bulk of the story, this film would still have been very cheesy and predictable. Still, it would have been better than sticking with its shallow, unfulfilling ending.

Trouble with the Curve had the potential to be much more, but it hits one strike too many.

Ryan Sacco can be reached at [email protected]