Trouble with the Curve (film): A very disappointing modern-day Eastwood film

in sportstalk •  3 months ago 

Although Eastwood was only involved in this film as an actor (didn't direct or produce) and it has a wonderful ensemble of actors I generally enjoy such as Justin Timberlake and John Goodman, this film is kind of a dud.


In the event that the name of the film wasn't enough of a clue, this film is about baseball. More specifically it focuses on Gus Lobel (Eastwood)'s involvement in the industry as a talent scout for the Atlanta Braves. Gus is old and thereby old-school. He refuses most forms of technology in his work and this is starting to invoke the ire of co-workers, most notably the up-and-coming executive Phillip Sanderson (played by Matthew Lillard, who i don't recall seeing in anything since his breakout role in "Scream.)


Despite Gus' long-term experience in the game, the "young bucks" feel as though technology should be a larger part of the system and that people like Eastwood's character need to be phased out of the industry in order to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. Basically a "back in my day" vs. "typical millennial" type situation.

The major problem I have with this film is that it is just so damn Hollywood typical. Gus' daughter "Mickey" (played by Amy Adams) is introduced and her relationship with her father is tepid at best and it becomes evident very early on that their estranged relationship is going to be a "side quest." Then Justin Timberlake is introduced as competing yet amicable recruiter Johnny Flanagan. He trusts Gus despite being in direct competition with him and would you look at that?
He is right around the same age as Gus' daughter.... I wonder what is going to happen here?

I was shocked... SHOCKED, when these two developed a romantic interest in one-another

There is literally nothing that happens in this film that you cant correctly guess 15 minutes before it happens. Literally every single plot piece is telegraphed and the pieces fall together in the same ol' typical way that thousands of films have showcased before.

official trailer from WB's YT page

I always give modern Eastwood films a fair shake since most of his films (particularly the ones he directs) are some of my favorite films of all time. Trouble with the Curve is Clint's first acting gig after Gran Torino, which is likely in my top 25 of all time.

I really enjoy sports films. I can say that it is one of my favorite genres. However, Trouble with the Curve just fails on so many fronts, the main one being that there isn't really much of a story here and nothing that happens at any point is even remotely surprising. The acting is solid but the script and the overall story is just incredibly weak.

Professional critics are always very kind to Eastwood in their analysis of him and I suppose with good reason. He is a legend afterall and it isn't like he cranks out 10 films a year. However, the general public voted with their wallets and this $60 million film ended up losing over $10 million at the box office.

My overall rating?


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See, I really liked this movie. I totally agree with you that everything was pretty much telegraphed and if the title doesn't give you a bat to the face of foreshadowing, then you are just a dolt. It was entertaining to watch it all play out though even though you knew what was going to happen. That's just me though. I'm not saying it was the must see movie of that year, but for something to watch with my wife while we are cuddled on the couch, it wasn't horrible.

that seems fair enough. I guess i just expected more because Eastwood's modern hits have been so "different" from normal Hollywood things. Could anyone predict the ending of "Million Dollar Baby" or "Gran Torino".... nah..... But perhaps i am expecting too much

Oooh good thing you didn't spoil those. I haven't seen either of them. Even the greats have their projects they just do for fun I guess.

OMG get out there and have a cuddle night watching either. They are both just amazing. I would start with million dollar baby if i were you.

I'm a bit jealous that you have never seen either of these... wow, you are in for a treat.