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Baseball flick similar to "comfort food" (VIDEO)

If there’s one quality that I truly hate about most movies, it’s their predictability. In most movies, you know exactly what is going to happen in the movie within the first 20 minutes; that is not good storytelling.

However, Trouble with the Curve, released Sept. 21, may just be an exception. Here is a film that is comparable to comfort food; it offers the same, heartwarming themes that you’ve seen in countless sports movies, but sometimes, you just sort of need that. It may not be extraordinary, but it’s good enough.

Trouble with the Curve tells the story of Gus (Clint Eastwood), a washed up old baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. The film opens with Gus at a low; his eyesight is getting worse, his contract expires in three months and everyone involved in the scouting department thinks he should retire.

Therefore, when he gets the opportunity to drive down to North Carolina to watch a high school player who hits home runs like Babe Ruth, Gus sees a great opportunity to show the team that he’s still got it.

But, his boss and good friend, Pete (John Goodman), worries that Gus is too old to still be living the on-the-road life, so he instructs Gus’ estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to go with him. Also, Johnny (Justin Timberlake) shows up as a scout for the Red Sox. He serves as a love interest for Mickey.

Now, Gus shows up at the high school game and realizes that the guy he’s supposed to scout isn’t a very nice guy. He knows that he’s all that and believes that the only reason to play professionally is so you can get loads of money. The problem is, if Gus doesn’t sign this kid on, he’s more than likely out of a job.

Now, this set up sounds pretty dire, but the movie plays it all with a reassuring tone. We know the circumstances may seem grim, but this movie is making you smile so much, that you know you’re in safe hands.

The film is crafted with the express purpose of making you, as an audience member, feel happy. Everything from the Eastwood’s lovably grumpy old man, to the romance between Adams and Timberlake is designed to warm your heart. Even the end credits’ song (Ray Charles singing “You Are My Sunshine”) exists to make you walk out of the movie with a giant grin on your face.

“Pleasant” would be a good word to describe this film. The cinematography is pleasant, the acting is pleasant and the soundtrack is pleasant. This is a movie that had all the sharp edges shaved off, left with what can only be described as a wholly enjoyable experience.

This is a movie that has one goal and accomplishes it very well. In fact, the film only starts to falter when it tries to make you feel bad. The filmmakers are very clearly trying to bring you down, so they can build you back up. But there is one thing that they do that is so bleak, it’s really hard to not feel like it’s completely tone-deaf to the rest of the movie.

That being said, I smiled a whole lot while watching Trouble with the Curve. It’s not a masterpiece of filmmaking that will live on for generations, but it is the perfect feel good movie, and anything that melts my cold black heart is something to be appreciated.

Trouble with the Curve runs at 111 minutes and is rated PG-13 for language, sexual references, some thematic material and smoking. The film is playing at most local theaters.

For more reviews, read the Sept. 5 article, Three-tier plot rushes ‘The Words’ (VIDEO).

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