‘Trouble with the Curve,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Think of “Trouble with the Curve” as the anti-“Moneyball”: a movie that dismisses Billy Bean and Bill James’ data-centric approach to quantifying baseball talent, in favor of old-fashioned gut instinct.

It’s also a clichéd and sentimental dramedy, in which the comedy is wan and the drama telegraphs itself like a pitcher who unconsciously tips off his curveball.

I don’t care about Clint Eastwood’s politics. But his taste in scripts apparently still has a soft spot for that “Every Which Way But Loose” mode. Except the trained monkey this time is Amy Adams.

Well, that’s not really fair. Actually, the trained ape here is Eastwood himself, playing a crotchety old baseball scout named Gus, who drinks too much, is cranky to nearly everyone and whose temper tantrums at the prospect of losing his sight (which is happening to him) is played for laughs: He burns the hamburgers he fries on the stove until the house is full of smoke. How hilarious is that?

Gus isn’t telling anyone about the macular degeneration that is impinging on his life. And it’s meant to be funny when he bumps into furniture or, later, drives his car into another vehicle because he doesn’t see it.

He’s also in the hunt for a hot baseball prospect named Bo Gentry (Joe Massingill), a minor leaguer with a big bat who’s being scouted by every team in the majors, it seems, prior to the draft.

This review continues on my website.

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