Director: Robert Lorenz
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Malpaso Productions
The trouble with Trouble with the Curve is its absence of a single plot or character curve in its entire 110-minute running time. Directed by Clint Eastwood’s longtime associate producer Robert Lorenz from a Randy Brown screenplay, the movie stars Eastwood in grumpy old man Gran Torino-lite mode as a flinty, grizzled, boozy top-shelf Atlanta Braves baseball scout who talks to his man parts when he has trouble urinating and blames the furniture when he crashes into it.
Don’t worry about your heart being touched; it’s all played for reassuring, unchallenging sitcom-style laughs. Atop our proud, self-isolated hero’s problems, he’s also losing his sight and, has no use for new-fangled computers and other techno thingamabobs, but if he’s going to be weeded out by the soulless, hotshot know-nothing running the Braves, he wants to go out on a high note -- by recruiting a minor league ballplayer (Joe Massingill) in whom he spots massive potential.
Amy Adams plays Eastwood’s estranged daughter, a high-powered lawyer who apparently wants to settle old scores between them during a road trip her old man takes to scout and maybe sign the new kid in the Carolinas. Parent-child relationships, Adams’ obligatory fling with rival baseball scout Justin Timberlake, Eastwood’s being eased out of the business by team owner Robert Patrick and computer-savvy Matthew Lillard? All of it potentially grabby stuff, yet even though Trouble with the Curve is perfectly proficient, enjoyable and expertly acted up and down the line, it’s written and directed meanderingly. It’s not painful to watch, but it’s strictly playbook stuff: bland, with spare bits from Moneyball and The Blind Side tossed on as garnish. No swinging for the fences here; autopilot professionalism is the name of the game.