The movie could also have been called Trouble with Writing Characters.
“Trouble with the Curve” follows the story of Gus (Eastwood), an aging baseball scout who is beginning to have trouble with his eyesight. At the same time there is a new up and coming baseball scout who uses computers more who doesn’t believe Gus can do the job anymore, the organization still sends Gus out to recruit a kid who looks like a great draft pick.
Meanwhile, Gus’ daughter Mickey (Adams), who he doesn’t have a great relationship with is almost at the point where she can get a promotion at her law firm. However Gus’ eye condition convinces Mickey to come back and help him during the scouting process.
During this time Mickey meets a young scout from another team named Johnny (Timberlake) and the two start getting closer. Through this process Mickey and Gus try to figure out each other and repair their relationship.
The basic premise of the film is pretty good; the father-daughter relationship could have made for a good drama. The huge problem that arises in the film though is all of the other subplots that get thrown in here. There is the subplot of what is going to happen with Mickey’s job, the subplot of the kid that is being scouted who has way to big of an ego, and the subplot of the computer guy who basically wants to take Gus’ job.
All of these subplots were generic, cliché and not necessary for the film, in fact they were so predictable that it drags the film down far. Even the romantic plot about Adam’s and Timberlake’s characters seems useless and honestly could have been cut from the film.
Now maybe the subplots could have worked but they are made even worse by the horrid characters that go along with them. For example, the character Phillip played by Matthew Lillard who is going after Gus’ job is just way too much of a slimeball. Instead of just being a character with a difference of opinion with Gus on how to scout, he is made out to be a full on villain. The same could be said about the high draft choice Bo, played by Joe Massingill. They make this guy so incredibly unlikeable, and once again for no particular reason.
The acting was delivered well though by the lead cast members. Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood are of course strong performers and both do good jobs here. Their characters are also well written and there is a level of chemistry between the two. Justin Timberlake was alright in the movie too, playing his part well.
Once again the problem though is a majority of these characters shouldn’t have been in the movie, many of their plots just felt unnecessary. This makes the movie become overly sappy and predictable, which kept me from really getting a true emotional investment in the film. It’s too bad because this could have been a much better film if it had cut out these characters and subplots and just focused more on Clint Eastwood’s and Amy Adam’s characters. I give this one a 2 out of 5, just for the performances.