(I Had) Trouble With the Curve

I wouldn’t ordinarily have been chomping at the bit to see this particular movie, but had the opportunity to see a free advanced screening, and figured I may as well take advantage of that.

Trouble With The Curve is yet another among the throng of baseball movies made over the years…so at this point, to keep it “fresh”, something different or at least entertaining must be done if another inning is being added to what can already be a slow game.  Unfortunately, this addition is as trite and stale as they come. Trouble is literally riddled with clichés from start to finish, from the characters to the story to the shots and everything in between.  Clint Eastwood (with his trademark Clint Squint) plays the irascible ~ and entirely unsympathetic ~ Gus, an aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves with three months left on his contract, who, between his deteriorating eyesight and his stubborn unwillingness to embrace technology of any sort, should be retired.  He has a strained relationship with his attorney daughter Mickey (predictably named after Mickey Mantle), played by the always winning Amy Adams.  He shows little love or affection to her or anyone, for that matter, softening only during a “conversation” he has with his late wife’s headstone at the cemetery, in a scene so on-the-nose it is shocking, not to mention painful.  In it he tearfully recites the ditty “You Are My Sunshine” in its entirety, only to be followed by the song actually playing over the scene.  Really?!

Sadly, that is only one example of the many obviously transparent moments throughout the film.  All too often we hear a character “thinking out loud”, as if we, the audience, aren’t perceptive enough to figure out what they may be thinking by ourselves.  It leaves nothing to the imagination, nothing of interest, nothing to surmise on our own, which is not much fun…not that there’s anything of much substance here to begin with. Continue reading