Clint Eastwood’s conversation with his penis in the opening scene of Trouble With the Curve would be less newsworthy had the star not chatted with an empty chair on TV so recently. Playing a crusty baseball scout named Gus, who neglects his failing eyesight and his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), with equally infuriating stubbornness, Eastwood also eats Spam from a tin, and sings “You Are My Sunshine” in a pity-me voice while swigging beer at his long-dead wife’s grave. At other points, he talks to a car and a hamburger.
Mostly, Eastwood growls in a “Get off my lawn!” arrgggh meant to demonstrate that the self-described “broken-down old man” he plays in this wholly derivative sports-redemption drama is to be excused for his bad behavior because he’s just doing the best he can. But the film — minor-league work in the field of Eastwood’s good Old Age Movies like Gran Torino — can’t be excused for swinging at pitches visible a mile away, including a romance between Mickey and a Good Guy (Justin Timberlake), as well as the last-act punishment of a bullying hotshot batter drafted into the majors against Gus’ recommendation. Even those who don’t know a foul tip from a chicken wing will be able to spot the desperate plays. C-