Trouble with the Curve: Less Interesting Than an Old Man Ranting at an Empty Chair
Trouble with the Curve is such a boring, generic movie that you almost have to watch it in a political context, just to keep yourself awake. Some good actors—Amy Adams, John Goodman—and two interesting personalities—Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake—are given absolutely nothing to work with, in terms of script or filmmaking skill. It's all so terribly boring. A baseball scout (Eastwood) is going blind. His workaholic daughter (Adams) goes on a scouting trip with him to help compensate for his failing eyesight, and she starts to fall for a young scout (Timberlake) who is exactly the opposite of the kind of guy she's been seeing her whole life. You can predict the whole movie within thirty seconds of the first reel starting.
Luckily, Clint Eastwood's empty chair routine at the RNC happened less than a month ago. His angry, doddering speech to an imaginary president seemed like a prelude to his performance in this movie. Eastwood's character—I'm sure he has a name, but who cares?—spends a huge portion of his screentime ranting about how computers are a stupid waste of time. When he bangs up his car trying to get it out of his own garage, he grumbles about the "goddamned midgets" who built the structure too small. When we first meet him, he's arguing with his own, malfunctioning prostate.
Maybe before the RNC, this would be a mildly amusing, comic turn for Eastwood in an otherwise crappy movie. But now that we've seen him act like everybody's mildly racist grandfather in front of a live audience of millions, it doesn't seem like a performance, anymore. It feels like propaganda for a generation that has marked the 21st century off and longs, desperately, for the olden days. His RNC costar even makes a cameo appearance in Trouble with the Curve: There's a scene in which Eastwood, his vision obscures, runs into an empty chair. "Son of a bitch," he bellows at the chair, kicking it across the room. It's probably the best moment in the whole movie.