‘Trouble with the Curve’ a swing and a miss

Beth Schumacher

Here’s an odd combination: Clint Eastwood, a love story, Amy Adams, baseball and Justin Timberlake. Add that all together and you get Trouble with the Curve.

The sports-drama, released on Friday, follows legendary baseball scout Gus (Eastwood). His unwillingness to keep up with the changing times, conform to the technological craze and admit his eyesight is slowly declining leaves him at risk of being replaced by new blood. With three months left on his contract with the Braves, he sets out on his final assignment: to scout out number one pick Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill), a narcissistic high school power-hitter.

Gus’s daughter, Mickey (Adams), decides to join in on her father’s last recruiting trip right in the middle of a make-it or break-it case that will determine if she will become a partner in the highly competitive law firm where she works. Her obviously unstable relationship with her father makes this decision a little unconvincing, but it adds to the plot.

While recruiting the number one pick, Gus is reunited with a former pitcher he followed a few years named Johnny (Timberlake). With hopes of restoring some kind of a career in baseball after blowing out his shoulder, Johnny is brought to North Carolina to recruit for the Red Sox.

Of course, once he’s introduced to Mickey, he’s instantly attracted to her love for and knowledge of baseball. Several bar scenes and cheesy kiss contemplations go by before they finally come to the realization that they are perfect for each other. Who would have guessed?

I’ll warn you, if you’re expecting something comparable to Field of Dreams or The Natural, you may walk out somewhat disappointed. If you have no idea what I was talking about in the previous sentence, then I wouldn’t worry.

In all honesty, Trouble with the Curve seemed to focus more on the complicated relationships of those involved in the MLB rather than baseball itself. The ending, however crowd-pleasing, was just ridiculously unrealistic: Allowing a walk-on with no credentials to pitch against the number one draft pick in order to prove a point is something that would only happen in the movies. The good guys win in the end, and the lesson learned is that it’s all about love for the game.