Directed by: Robert Lorenz
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, Matthew Lillard, and John Goodman.
Clint Eastwood has somewhat cornered the market in ‘cranky-old guy’ archetypes in recent years, with roles like that of Frankie Dunn, the gruff but well-meaning boxing trainer in Million Dollar Baby. Having had a disgruntled conversation with his own bladder and kicked apart a coffee table within the film’s first few minutes, it’s clear that his character Gus, an ageing baseball scout, is not a ray of sunshine.
His team, The Atlanta Braves, do little to bright his mood and looking for younger scouting talent send Gus on one last assignment to prove his worth. Along for the journey is Gus’ daughter Mickey (Adams), a bright young lawyer balancing a potential promotion at work and repairing a difficult relationship with her distant father. As Mickey helps Gus to scout a top new prospect in North Carolina, their fraught bond plays out through a mixture of witty chat and petty spats.
Competing for the same prospect is Justin Timberlake’s Johnny, an all round nice guy and failed baseball player, who was once scouted by Gus. Johnny takes an immediate shine to Mickey and as the two get to know one another, his youthful enthusiasm contrasts with her father’s knowledge and intuitive experience. The film also has an impressive supporting cast – John Goodman in particular stands out as Eastwood’s best friend, fighting his corner in the office as the David vs. Goliath story plays out.
Trouble with the Curve, owes its heart-warming appeal to the tug of love relationship between Eastwood and Adams’ characters and whilst the film is at times awfully sweet, it won’t leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth in time for Christmas.