Maybe you missed this, but Clint Eastwood was at the Republican National Convention a few weeks ago, spending several grueling minutes talking to a chair that was supposed to have an invisible President Obama sitting in it. That appearance could’ve been his way of promoting his new movie, Trouble with the Curve, which also has him acting like a crazy old fart who pretends to see things.
Eastwood is back in scowling, stubborn, computers-can-kiss-my-ass mode as a veteran baseball scout who tries to hide his worsening eyesight from his employers, who already think dude is getting up there in age and should retire anyway. His workaholic lawyer daughter (Amy Adams), who is still kinda miffed about all those years he wasn’t there for her as a kid, reluctantly travels to North Carolina and aids him in scouting a bratty new prospect. Justin Timberlake also shows up as a friendly rival scout/potential love interest for Adams/charming-ass young dude.
Directed by longtime Eastwood producer Robert Lorenz (although you get the feeling Eastwood did some behind-the-camera consulting), Curve is likable middlebrow comfort food. It’s quite confident in its hokey earnestness, hitting all its predictable, clichéd notes with tidy, uncomplicated pride. You kind of wish more Hollywood cheese-fests were as competent and self-assured in their unabashed schmaltz as this one.
At the screening I attended, the audience was pleased to the point that people broke out in applause at the end. Lots of folks suggested Eastwood was losing his marbles after the GOP stunt, but it turns out if there's anything he still knows how to do in his soft-old-bastard Gran Torino twilight, it's fill seats.