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Trouble with the Curve

“Trouble with The Curve” is the ANTI-“Moneyball.” TWTC slams the stats-happy computer geek baseball personnel people and gives a nod to the old school cigar-chomping scouts.

The heart of this movie is the relationship between Gus, played by Clint Eastwood, and his daughter Mickey, played by Amy Adams. Despite all that has caused their estrangement, the glue that holds them together is baseball.

Once the basic plot is set up, you can pretty much guess how it will conclude. But getting there is a fun trip, with a surprise or two along the way.

Gus, a veteran scout for the Braves, is sent to the Carolinas to check out a high school phenom. But Gus is having vision problems and, stubborn old geezer that he is, he won’t see a specialist to have the situation addressed. A Braves team exec, played by John Goodman, asks Mickey to go to the Carolinas and make sure her dad is okay. She is a rising star Atlanta attorney who is about to make partner if she can pull off a certain deal.

Among the old scouts is a young Red Sox scout, Johnny, a washed-out pitcher, played by Justin Timberlake. He, like Gus, is there to see the phenom, but he also has his eyes on Mickey. She’s standoffish, so their relationship moves slowly but predictably.

Eastwood’s character is not far removed from the codger he played in “Gran Torino” a few years back. In TWTC, he also drives a classic Ford, a 60’s Mustang. The Mustang gets banged up when Gus has trouble with the curve on a highway and pulls in front of a vehicle he didn’t see coming.

As with last year’s “Moneyball,” you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie. TWTC is a movie that will, I think, appeal equally to men and women. Yes, it’s a movie about baseball. But it’s more about relationships.

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