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Keith Bernstein/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Trouble with the Curve

Movies

Issue: "Reassessing the genome," Oct. 6, 2012

Movies are like food—some are wonderful, some are not, and some are just tasteless. Trouble with the Curve (PG-13 for profanity and crass language), starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams, is one of the tasteless ones. It's not bad, just forgettable.

Clint Eastwood plays Gus, a grizzled Atlanta Braves scout in danger of losing his eyesight and the job that depends on it. Refusing to see an eye specialist, he heads off to North Carolina to scout a highly touted prospect. Pete (John Goodman), Gus' long-time friend and co-worker, is greatly concerned and decides it's time to call up Mickey.

Named after Mickey Mantle, Gus' daughter (Adams) knows the game almost as well as Gus does. The only problem is, they don't get along. Pete hopes a trip to North Carolina will be the solution to their problems and Gus' unreliable scouting ability.

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Mickey reluctantly agrees to Pete's plan and hops a jet to join her dad. Gus is not happy to see her, but she helps him "see" what's happening on the diamond—shown only in bits and pieces. This won't bother the casual observer, but anyone who knows baseball will find this somewhat irritating, as Adams confidently describes a particular pitch as a "hanging fastball." Too bad there's no such thing.

As no one else in the movie seems to know that, the faux pas doesn't impede a young Red Sox scout, played tolerably well by Justin Timberlake, from pursuing Mickey. At first she's not interested, but after 24 hours she's ready to play World Series trivia, clog dance half drunk, and take a moonlit swim with him in a murky pond.

That only complicates what's becoming a tangled mess, but the upheaval opens the door for an unrealistic twist of events in an otherwise bland story.

Stephanie Perrault
Stephanie Perrault

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