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Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve

Released 30 November 2012
Director Robert Lorenz

Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard,
Writer(s) Randy Brown

Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Michele Weisler
Origin United States
Running Time 111 minutes
Genre Drama
Rating 12A


Clint Eastwood gives his archetypal performance as an octogenarian enemy of age with a distinct gravelly rasp in the directorial debut of long time collaborator Robert Lorenz. The consensus; never do favours for your Hollywood mates. Trouble with the Curve plays like a Blind Side-esque sports drama but an abundance of dramatic clichés and a completely obvious storyline makes for a lack in emotional kick.

Gus Lobel (Eastwood) is a once revered baseball scout well past his prime. Technology has begun to replace him and cataracts are creeping in, but when his estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) agrees to accompany him on one last scouting gig, he begins to realise that there’s more to life than the old ball game.

Told in Eastwood’s typical rough around the edges, short and snappy style, it’s instantly clear that Lorenz doesn’t have the experience or talent to get away with his undertaking. Half sports film, half family drama, with a bit of rom-com thrown in, Trouble with the Curve fails from every angle. On the sports end, we never root for Gus’s potential star because he’s a dislikeable Neanderthal, so there’s no emotional punch with the win. Also, nothing can detract from the fact that baseball is not an interesting sport, and it’s all these characters ever talk about.

Bringing nothing new to the plate, characters here are those of standard dramatic fare. Justin Timberlake shows up as a fellow scout- something of a young Gus- but is completely superfluous to the plot; serving as a pointless romantic interest to Mickey and for some cheesy lines directed towards the film’s obviously targeted American audience (we’re talking Kardashian and Dr. Phil references). He’s also at the centre of most of the film’s dramatic banalities; two people in a pool, inching closer before the inevitable kiss. A dark but ultimately pointless third-act revelation is thrown in as a curveball, but is really more of an afterthought.

However, some of the stubborn mule Eastwood’s gruff quips hit home and Amy Adams is adorable as usual and the two do indeed have some chemistry. But does she really want this on her CV alongside a confident, magnetic performance in The Master earlier this year?

- Cathal Prendergast