Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Trouble With the Curve
Eastwood plays Gus, a scout for the Atlanta Braves, and once a dominant force before computers and numbers, along with the pressures of his age started taking over his job. He can hear a good swing, a good thing since his sight is going, and connect to the heart of player before he reaches first base. He's also kind of a louse as a father; he's long suffering daughter Mickey (Amy Adams), a prominent attorney, can attest, long ago feeling abandoned when all she wanted was a front row baseball game seat with her pop. With Gus' health a more concerning factor, Mickey reluctantly travels along with dad to scout a new, seemingly ace player, and demons from the past start to come to surface. Adams is radiant in, again, a role that likely came fairly easy to her. She charms and banters and bitters with Eastwood with ease, and the two of them create a nicely calibrated pitter-patter, back and forth of dig, resentment and need for acceptance that feels as organic as the dialogue does arch. What stands in the way is both of their characters stubbornness and the scripts incessant need to keep things running past its course. Fellow baseball connoisseur Johnny (Justin Timberlake) complicates things only in his desire to romance Mickey.
What fits like a glove is the brittle rapport between Eastwood and Adams. What separates the film from being a bona-fide crowd-pleaser, from the middling loft down the middle piece of cheese it is is the earnest, familiar tracks from director Lorenz and first time screenwriter Randy Brown, that hone down everything in such a succinct way, that it may well have been a Lifetime movie of the week. B-