If you have any chance of enjoying Trouble With the Curve at all, you should first understand that it’s not a real movie.
I mean, yeah, okay, it’s a real movie: It’s playing in actual movie theaters and stars actual movie stars and has something approximating an actual movie script.
But what I mean is, it doesn’t have anything real to say. It doesn’t come from any emotionally authentic place. The pleasures it does have are strictly of the formulaic variety.
I began to suspect that this was the case when I saw Clint Eastwood’s car. Clint is playing Gus, an aging baseball scout, but the car he drives is a vintage Mustang—a movie cliché car, not the kind of a car a guy who has to drive around the country watching prospects would ever own.
And then—THEN—the young aspiring scout played by Justin Timberlake has a similar vintage convertible. They’re not even trying here.
This extends to all the film’s characters.
As Gus, Clint is playing the new Clint, that is to say, an angry old man who growls and sneers and rages against the world, in denial that he has glaucoma, too proud to ask for help.
Amy Adams is his workaholic lawyer daughter, who secretly loves...