Film review: ‘Trouble With the Curve’
Wed, Sep 19, 2012 (4:54 p.m.)
Trouble With the Curve marks the first time in 20 years that Clint Eastwood has acted in a movie that he didn’t direct himself, and it’s easy to view his performance as aging baseball scout Gus Lobel as a favor to first-time director Robert Lorenz, a longtime Eastwood collaborator. Eastwood coasts through the same crotchety-old-man performance he gave in Gran Torino, only minus the racial slurs, and the movie is a paint-by-numbers story about Gus reconnecting with his adult daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) while scouting a potential prospect in North Carolina. There’s corny father-daughter drama; a predictable romantic-comedy arc for Mickey and a young player-turned-scout (Justin Timberlake); and cartoonish villainy from a smarmy bureaucrat (Matthew Lillard) trying to replace Gus’ instincts with computer analysis (Curve is like the anti-Moneyball). It’s all ridiculously overstated and completely obvious, bolstered by lame jokes and flat dialogue. Eastwood would have been better off sticking to his onscreen retirement.