|Image by RiGuy04 on sxc.hu|
However, the thought of spending two captive hours with a grumpy man holding a baseball bat didn't thrill me. But I was surprised with the expert plotting and pacing in the movie.
Where am I going with this post? I want to make the point that watching movies can be valuable research for writers. The Trouble with the Curve is one of those movies that has unexpected depth and layering. On the surface, it's about how baseball is changing. It used to be a sport ruled by relationships, and now it's turning into a sport ruled by player statistics.
Enter Clint Eastwood, an aging baseball scout, feeling his impending obsolescence, and the daughter played by Amy Adams whom he can't connect with. Their distant relationship has rippled into her adult life. She's a successful and driven attorney, on the track to partnership, but she can't form a lasting attachment with a man.
Enter Justin Timberlake, a man most women would love to make an attachment with. But the daughter pushes him away, true to her life pattern. John Goodman plays the father's longtime friend who wants to help, but can only do so much.
Complicating details include health problems, guilt over past events, the onward movement of time and progress, and of course the classic theme, good triumphs over evil.
The title doesn't figure into the story line until the last third of the movie. At that point, it becomes obvious why the writer chose that title, and how it encompasses the entire story line in a multiplicity of meanings.
Writer Randy Brown wove all these concepts into one deeply layered story, connecting all these plot points and details like lines on a roadmap. That's the kind of story I try to write. It's easy to dissect, but not so easy to create. Yet these are the kinds of stories that appeal to the romantic at heart, (me,) the action fans, (my husband,) and people who want a good movie, (um, everyone.)
Hooray for writer's research! The Trouble with the Curve is a sleeper movie that hasn't gotten the publicity it deserves. If you're a writer, this is one way to get a lesson in plot and subplot for under ten dollars.