If you like a slice of average Americana and rooting for the underdog then Trouble with the Curve probably ticks those boxes. On the other hand it fails at a lot of things which are integral to an enjoyable experience.
It is the first directorial debut from Robert Lorenz who previously worked as a 1st AD on a few other Eastwood titles, such as Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River. But Lorenz fails to impart any unique identity or tone to this film and it ends up being a rather weak effort.
Clint Eastwood plays Gus, an ageing baseball scout who doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the times as he is slowly losing his sight and going senile. His daugther Micky (Amy Adams), is convinced to look out for her father on one last recruiting trip, and possibly risk putting her own job in jeopardy.
In most recent times this is essentially Eastwood’s go to role at the moment and one which is growing stale and tired. How many times do we need to see the same role? He has become the Danny Dyer of old people. This is not helped by the lack of actual connection between Eastwood & Adams, which is a dilemma in the film. They spend most of their time disconnected, but it never feels as if they really are trying to bond and the majority is spent bonding over alcohol at some bar. There is a rather interjected paedophile backstory thrown sloppily into the mix just to drive some kind of resolution home.
But their relationship never feels quite as forced as the introduction of Johnny (Justin Timberlake) who is the most redundant of characters. His backstory leads to nowhere and the blossoming romance which develops between himself and Adams also does the same. He feels unecessary to the actual plot which is mending the bond between Micky and Gus, but placed because the producers felt the need to have some kind of romantic storyline.
Trouble with the Curve fails to resonant with any of it’s themes and suffers from a poor grasp of genuine storytelling. The bad guys are bad and the good people are placed as underdog status of the highest level. Trouble with the …. well a lot of things.