USA Today – “Trouble with the Curve:” No home run

There’s nothing that remotely approaches a narrative curve ball in this tired saga of an aging baseball scout.

Actress Amy Adams

Actress Amy Adams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just saw “Trouble with the Curve” last night. I don’t think Ms. Puig, USAToday’s reviewer, saw the same movie. But then, I don’t get out to the movies very much anymore.

“Tired saga?” I must have missed something. This wasn’t a movie about an “aging baseball scout” at all: it was about reconciliation between father and daughter. And I thought it was sweet. And I think Amy Adams is a remarkable actress.

Mary and I have enjoyed watching her in “Julie and Julia” several times, and I was glad to see her expand her role in this one.

Puig, however, saw something different from what I saw:

Everything about this story (which Eastwood did not direct or write) follows the most obvious road map. Even his character’s name is a glaringly conventional choice: Gus. Is there a more obvious moniker for a grumpy old guy?

What? Where did that come from?

A veteran scout for the Atlanta Braves, Gus is fighting a losing battle with his eyesight, but he’s determined to remain on the job. Macular degeneration would seem to be a major handicap in his line of work, but luckily Gus can tell a good pitch just by the crack of the bat.

Maybe he can. Maybe he can’t. But this is irrelevant to the theme of the story. His daughter reluctantly helps him out. She makes the first of several attempts to reconnect with her father by working the games with him.

Puig finally gets it: reconciliation, along with a little romance:

It’s pretty clear that a romance is in the offing, though Adams and Timberlake [Johnny, the love interest] don’t have much chemistry. It’s also glaringly evident that some kind of reconciliation looms between father and daughter.

Upon leaving the theatre I bumped into some old friends who asked why Eastwood made the movie. What an interesting question! I think he made it to help Amy along in her career. It was, in my opinion, an act of selflessness by Eastwood.

I thought the movie was sweet, and I’m glad I went to see it.

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