September 21st, 2012
01:09 PM ET
Clint Eastwood has a new movie out in theaters and - *gasp* - it has nothing to do with politics. (Adjust yourselves accordingly.)
No, "Trouble with the Curve" is a baseball film, in which Eastwood plays cranky, aging Atlanta Braves scout Gus Lobel, whose estranged big-time lawyer daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) joins him on tour when his failing eyesight threatens to put him out of business.
It also stars Justin Timberlake as a player scouted by Gus but, after blowing his arm out, is now his competition ... and a love interest for Mickey. Adams joked at the film's premiere Wednesday that it was such a "rough shoot, just looking at him, acting with him and kissing him," before saying with more seriousness that the pop-star-turned-actor "is a lovely, lovely person and I think such a talent. He’s so great in this film.”
Timberlake, as you already surmised from seeing Eastwood and Adams attached, is far from the only talent shining in "Trouble with the Curve." Where it misses with its story, it hits a home run with the acting.
Critics call out writer Randy Brown on a predictable script "so familiar you can see many of its plot points a mile away," says the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan. Thankfully, that doesn't stand in the way of terrific performances.
"This amiable, old-fashioned film is no world-beater, but it underlines why, appearances with empty chairs excepted, it is always a pleasure to see this man on the screen," Turan said of Eastwood, adding that the film's "acting talent is strong enough to ride out the storm."
The New York Times' A.O. Scott agreed, noting that "The very title of 'Trouble With the Curve' is a spoiler, but it hardly matters. Originality is for punks. ... The pat and occasionally preposterous story is really just a pretext, a serviceable scaffolding for a handful of expert, satisfying performances."
Concluded Roger Ebert, "Trouble with the Curve" may not be on the level of Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" as far as sports films go, "but it's a superior entertainment, moving down somewhat predictable paths with an authenticity and humanity that appeals."
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers puts it bluntly, calling the plot "cornball" but finding the combination of Eastwood, 82, and Adams, 38, to be a winning pair. First-time director Robert Lorenz "whips up a slick, commercial package, but he can't disguise the film's sappy premise," Travers says. "And yet, it almost doesn't matter. That's because Eastwood and Adams are just so much damn fun to watch."
Think you'll check it out this weekend? If so, leave your review below!
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