The Amy Adams/Clint Eastwood baseball movie Trouble with the Curve recently came to Netflix. I’d heard of it before, was vaguely aware that I’d heard of it in a positive light, but didn’t know too much about it. Not a huge baseball fan myself (at least not since I was about 14…), I wasn’t sure if I’d like the movie or not, but I gave it a shot anyway.
It’s about a 20-something woman (Amy Adams) trying to reconnect with her aging baseball scout dad (Clint Eastwood) on what could be his last scouting trip. And though the premise is baseball-themed, it’s not exactly about baseball.
What the Movie is Really About
This is really the story of a father and daughter getting a second chance to reconnect.
The two of them have never been close, at least not in a touchy-feely/emotionally-connected type of way. Her father is gruff, distant, and has often left her feeling as if she did something wrong to make him that way. She’s wanted more out of their relationship, and he’s kept her at an emotional arm’s length.
Is it her fault? Did she do something to make him push her (and in the past, actually send her) away? These are the questions that have haunted her for years. I think this movie actually has a pretty good presentation of a grown woman’s daddy issues and a legitimate attempt to solve them, despite both the woman and the father’s reluctance to delve into them. This is rather refreshing to see, in our world where crappy family relationships tend to be written off as something we just put up with and ignore.
Just when we think it might be super boring…
Baseball is a slow sport to begin with, and a father-daughter story doesn’t necessarily scream, “Compelling!” But this movie does a good job of getting us invested and giving us things to root for.
The dad’s scouting trip is centered around a high school baseball player who may or may not be the next great thing. The kid ends up being a pompous loud-mouth, so we’re kind of invested in whether he’s good enough to be drafted, and we’re really hoping they find a reason not to draft him because he’s so annoying.
But the even more compelling side-plot is the love interest that develops between Amy Adams’ character and another young scout who’s trying to earn enough cred to get a baseball announcing gig. This guy, played by Justin Timberlake, is cocky but likable; and the fun love story that develops between the two of them gives us something tangible to root for alongside the troublesome father-daughter issues. Refreshingly, this love story doesn’t even turn into premarital sex.
There aren’t a lot. It’s rated PG-13, and it actually feels like a fairly soft PG-13. Mostly, the rating must be for the language. There’s one F-word and at least a few lesser profanities. No sex scenes, though there is one scene of two people swimming in their undies and kissing – but it actually didn’t go any farther than that. There’s also discussion and a flashback of a near-molestation of a child, but that is highly relevant to the plot and the pervert is stopped before doing it.
I really like it when movies or shows that I know very little about pop up on Netflix and pleasantly surprise me. This was one of those movies.
With very little to complain about morally, this movie has a pretty uplifting story-line that shows family members working to restore broken relationships. If you have Netflix streaming, it’s definitely worth the hour and 51 minutes of your time.