2012-09-21

Trouble With The Curve – All You Need Is Some Coaching

by Yo Snyder

Trouble With The Curve is a warm, heartfelt baseball fairy
tale. I call it a fairy tale because things are a little too simple and a
little too neat when it comes to getting to that happy ending. In fact,
some issues are just dropped or overlooked in order to deliver on that
feel good, warm fuzzy, everything-worked-out-just-fine type of happy
ending that you usually find it, well, fairy tales. Now, just because I
call it a fairy tale, that doesn’t mean it’s just a piece of pretty
fluff. Trouble With The Curve has plenty of poignant moments, and
the truth is baseball really serves as the back drop for a story that’s
more about fathers and daughters than America’s pastime. Regardless,
it’s just a really good movie.

The real revelation here, once
again, is Amy Adams. This girl has an Oscar in her future, and sometime
soon too. Her portrayal of a young woman who just desperately wants her
daddy, who wants her daddy to love her and want to be with her is the
very heart of this film. She communicates so much with just a look, a
tremble of the lip, or the flash of her smile. I’m sure it had to be
intimidating for her to go toe-to-toe with a legend like Clint Eastwood,
but she more than holds her own. Eastwood is at his charmingly
cantankerous best in this film. There were moments where I felt like the
script tried to play that up a little too much, to the point where it
felt cliche, but that didn’t happen often. He can still hit it out of
the park though (figured that’d be appropriate for a review of a
baseball movie), and he proves that with a scene at a cemetery where he
brought me to tears with just a few whispered lines. Personally, I think
Timberlake is a little outclassed here. Oh, he’s fine and does a great
job with what he has, but no offense, he’s just not on the same level as
his other two co-stars. 

As I said, the film isn’t so much about
baseball as it is about family, specifically about fathers and their
relationships with their daughters. Now, being a father of two girls
myself, that hit home particularly hard for me. Those relationships just
aren’t easy for dad, but this movie does a good job of showing just how
badly a girl needs her father’s love, and quite frankly, just how much
dads need the love of their daughters. Everything about how that
relationship is portrayed in this movie rang true for me, a little too
true. Watching it had me resolving to work that much harder at being the
dad my girls need, regardless of what challenges life may present.

And life will present challenges. As much as Trouble With The Curve
is a title about baseball, it’s also a title about life. I’m sure
you’ve noticed this, but life as a way of throwing us a few curve balls
from time to time, and they’re not always easy to deal with. Some of
them are bit more severe than others, but the bottom line is we can try
to pretend they aren’t there, but we really can’t ignore them. The
problem is sometimes we feel helpless to do anything about them. I don’t
know if you’ve ever been in that place (I know I have more than a few
times), but I just want you to know there’s help. God loves you, and he
wants to help you with that trouble with the curve. Now, when people
hear that God wants to help them they often assume that means he’s just
going to magically make everything better, you know, so we can have that
fairy tale ending. Well, that isn’t always the case. Someone very wise
once said, “Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometimes he calms us to
go through the storm.” The point being he may not make those curves go
away, but he will help us get better at spotting them, hitting them and
from them getting the best of us. When a baseball player has trouble
with the curve, they need some extra coaching to help them get over that
trouble. It’s no different in life, and there’s no better coach than
God.

You should pretty much be able to tell if you’ll like this
movie from the trailers, they do a good job of showing you exactly what
this movie is about. Despite some of its heavy themes, for the most part
it keeps things lighter and breezy, with plenty of sharp, funny lines
and moments where you’ll probably need a tissue or two. It has two of
the finest actors around in it (that being Adams and Eastwood), and it’s
a story that has a great heart, and of course, those fairy tale
elements where the bad guys get what’s coming to them, the audience is
reminded what baseball is really all about, and where everyone lives
happily ever after. It’s hard not to enjoy a movie like that.

Score: 5 of 7