Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

October 4, 2012

In the House of Wood

Trouble with the Curve

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville —  

You can pretty much guess what's going to happen in the new Clint Eastwood movie, “Trouble with the Curve,” but the story taking you there is quite good. 

Eastwood plays a grumpy old baseball scout who is losing his eyesight. I'll admit that my positive reaction to this movie was helped, in part, by the fact that his character scouts for the Atlanta Braves, my favorite team. 

Technology and smarmy young people threaten his future as a scout, in addition to his health issues. His boss and longtime friend (played by John Goodman) intervenes and asks the scout's estranged daughter (Amy Adams) to come to his aid. 

But she's got problems of her own. In a somewhat typical fashion, Adams' character is a successful attorney who struggles to get close to people, due to her daddy issues. Of course, when she receives the call, she is about to make partner and is working on a crucial case to make that happen. The only threat to her partnership is a man who fits in better with the “boys' club” of existing partners. 

Nevertheless, she leaves to help her father, who of course, does not believe he needs her help. 

The cast is great, which is to be expected, given who they are. In Eastwood's case, he continues to successfully convey the indifference to popular opinion his best and most memorable characters have possessed. It's just, as he's gotten older, the indifference has shifted from shooting whom he pleases to saying what he pleases. This is still just as entertaining as it has ever been. 

His character in this film is not as deep or complex as the man he portrayed in “Gran Torino,” but he has the same warmth and heart beneath the tough, weathered exterior. 

Justin Timberlake's performance as a once-promising pitcher, turned scout and aspiring announcer, was also good. Whenever I watch a Timberlake movie, I keep asking myself whether or not the other members of N*Sync are sitting at home, wondering where they went wrong. 

The answer is fairly apparent, as Timberlake is a good actor (Just as long you don't think about that stupid Mike Myers “Guru” movie. Then again, all of the actors in that probably want to forget about it.)

Though predictable, and clearly apparent that father and daughter (Eastwood and Adams) are the same person facing the same difficulties with the same attitudes and outcomes, I think you'll like “Trouble with the Curve.” I don't know if it is award-worthy, but definitely worth the time to sit down and watch. I think you'll enjoy it.

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.