Review of Trouble with the Curve

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An aging baseball scout (played by Clint Eastwood) with failing sight hits the road with his estranged daughter to pursue a promising young ballplayer, and the two learn just how much they have in common as they make their way from Georgia to North Carolina for what could be his last recruiting trip. Produced and directed by Robert Lorenz, this 2012 sports drama also stars Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard & Joe Massingill.
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Movie Review: "Trouble with the Curve"

-- Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material, sexual references, language, and smoking)
Length: 111 minutes
Release Date: September 21, 2012
Directed by: Robert Lorenz
Genre: Drama

"Trouble with the Curve" is a fascinating sports-drama about a man who has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades but is starting to show his age. Nonetheless, the scout refuses to leave his career before he is ready. However, he might not have a choice. The front office is starting to question some of his decisions, especially his thoughts on their latest draft pick. Thus, the scout turns to his daughter, who works as an associate in a law firm, for help, even though it is against both of their wishes at first. She joins him in his latest scouting assignment, despite the fact it may jeopardize her own career.

"Trouble with the Curve" is a movie about what everyone is afraid of--becoming too old to do what you love. In this situation, you know the person is going to do what he or she has to in order to stay in the business as long as possible, no matter the consequences. In this film, Gus Lobel does exactly that. He is afraid of losing what he loves and does whatever he can to keep it. That is, he accepts the help of his own daughter. Of course, since Gus has been so busy in the world of baseball, he has not had much time to spend with his daughter throughout the years.

The movie is directed by Robert Lorenz ("Mystic River") and produced by Clint Eastwood ("Million Dollar Baby"), Robert Lorenz, and Michele Weisler ("The Ring"). Lorenz directs an amazing ensemble of stars, including Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams ("Doubt"), Justin Timberlake ("The Social Network"), Matthew Lillard ("The Descendants"), and John Goodman ("The Big Lebowski"). The storyline begins with an aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout named Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) as he tries to adapt to the changes in the scouting world. However, due to his age, his vision is starting to fail, and it's becoming harder to hide from his bosses. Even though he can tell what pitch is thrown simply by the sound of the bat, he is still unable to make the changes necessary to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing world of baseball. Because of this, Lobel has only one more chance to show the organization he is still worth keeping. His boss and friend Pete (John Goodman) tries to help him by asking Lobel's daughter to join her father on his next scouting assignment.

The film continues with the introduction of Lobel's daughter Mickey who is a highly educated Atlanta-based law firm associate who has a chance at becoming a partner. Of course, Mickey has her own reservations about the idea. Why would she give up her chance at becoming a partner to help a stubborn and out-of-touch old man who has neglected her for her entire life? The only obvious reason is that they are family and it is a chance make amends. Against her better judgment, and against her father's initial wish, Mickey joins her father on his trip to North Carolina.

In North Carolina, the father and daughter tandem scout a new top prospect: Mickey helps by being the eyes, while her father provides the brains. Along the way, the two meet up with one of Gus's old friends, Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), who is a former baseball player Gus once scouted, now a scout for the Boston Red Sox himself. Johnny and Mickey start to hit it off and soon become an item.

"Trouble with the Curve" is what every baseball movie should strive to be. It is an adventurous, magical, and humorous journey of a man in the twilight of his career. There is even some romance thrown in. Though this is a script written by a first-timer, it is entertaining and delightful to sit through. Like most Clint Eastwood movies, this film has superb acting and is exciting, especially with the help of Amy Adams. She does an incredible job as an estranged daughter, but she brings much more to the table than just another face. She brings her loveable charm and an amazing sense of humor to what otherwise might be an ordinary character in a conventional baseball flick.

Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood do such a sensational job that "Trouble with the Curve" is the can't-miss film of the season.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars