I thought Clint Eastwood was done acting and was ready for a new career of talking to chairs. Guess I was wrong because here he is playing a grumpy(go figure) man who all he has ever known is baseball. He’s a scout for the Atlanta Braves. His eye sight is starting to go and the organization is beginning to think time has passed him by and maybe the game has changed so much it’s time for him to move on. That’s when his daughter Mickey(Amy Adams) comes into the picture. Their relationship has been cold at best, when she finds out about his eye sight, she decides to put her career as a top notch lawyer aside to go on a road trip with him scouting a top high school prospect. Along the way they meet a young scout for the Red Sox named Johnny(Justin Timberlake) who helps Mickey wake up from her funk and possibly fall in love…
This movie is pretty thin, it’s basically the anti-Moneyball. It has a lot of old school baseball in it. Problem is when baseball isn’t the focus the movie drifts into basic formula type film. The only thing the movie has going for it is the leads. Amy Adams is a great actress, this can really not be debated anymore. She’s dominated multiple type of roles. Here she is woman covering up her pain with angst and work. Her dialogue with Eastwood is the best part, the father/daughter connection works here. If it wasn’t for the obvious talent and chemistry between her and Timberlake the love story in the film wouldn’t work at all.
With that all being said the film flip flops between being fun and being overly corny. Eastwood leans heavily on being the out of touch old guy. Half way through the film the little jokes towards his age get old. The film also takes a lot of liberties when it comes to the baseball aspects of the film. After following a talented but obnoxious high school super star, they magically find a Mexican kid who can pitch like Sandy Koufax, no joke they say this in the film. It’s hard to believe a kid with that much talent wouldn’t be noticed. It really felt as if they thought the crowd seeing this movie would be only interested in the love story or Eastwood, so it treats the baseball aspect carefully. Moneyball never treated the audience like it didn’t understand the game, this film mentions elements of the game but doesn’t dive into it at all. I would have rather had a lower budget film just following a baseball scout whose eyes are failing him.
The film is a fine date film and a solid movie to take your parents to, otherwise it’s not exactly a perfect piece to see it in theaters. Really it’s major highlight is Clint Eastwood, he and Adams are so good you’ll have a hard time disliking their scenes together. As a baseball movie though it fails over all.