Trouble with the Curve is a slam of a movie for people who don’t know much about baseball and haven’t seen that many movies. Like many of the cookie-cutter ballparks of the ‘70s and 80s, it follows a tried-and-true formula, providing plenty of formulaic entertainment and pleasantry, without taking any chances or diversions. But surely, director Robert Lorenz and writer Randy Brown could have gotten a few more baseball facts right … and taken greater advantage of this stellar cast (Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman), rather than settling for a traditional bunt and sac fly.

Our players fall perfectly into place. An embittered, grizzly old father who has a strained-but-strong relationship with his beat-all-comers daughter. She happens to be very attractive. She knows a ton about baseball. She’s up for partner at her law firm, but so is a more experienced and nervy associate. Her father’s barely hanging onto his eyesight and his scouting job, as young blood tries to replace him with computer-obsessed statheads. They’re scouting an obnoxious prospect who “visualizes endorsement deals” before each at-bat, yet everyone thinks he’s the next Albert Pujols. There’s a handsome flame-out pitcher who knew her father and happens to be scouting the same player – and, wouldn’t you believe it, likes her no matter how uptight and dismissive she is.

But putting all predictability aside (entertaining predictability, but predictability nevertheless), there’s no excuse for a couple of glaring baseball errors that – had they consulted knowledgeable baseball people – would have been fixed easily. The star athlete they’re scouting, Bo Gentry  (Joe Massingill), looks like he could be a power hitter, but he’s a chubby masher type. Yet he’s referred to as a can’t-miss, “five tool player,” an absolutely absurd statement for anyone who knows one of the five tools is speed. That’s just bad writing. In another sequence, the Braves (the team Eastwood’s character scouts for) sees an unknown high school player and immediately says to sign him – except the writer should know that player would have to go through the draft. These kinds of inconsistencies will ring embarrassing with real baseball fans, which is not a good way to score runs with a target market. It’s in these areas that Moneyball, for instance, stands mounds above Trouble with the Curve.

That is not a five-tool player.

As a father-daughter movie, it does excel most of the time, thanks to meaty performances from Eastwood and Adams. We’ve come to expect superb acting from them, and they deliver just as you would hope. Eastwood draws plenty of laughs with his under-his-breath murmurings and Adams is instantly likable, two ingredients that catapult the film a little higher than its otherwise modest means. You know what’s going to happen, you see the flaws, but you still kind of want to see it play out, which is a credit to both of their skill sets. Timberlake also brings some nice levity to the film, proving yet again he is as talented – possibly more talented – as an actor than he is a singer. I hope he continues to favor celluloid over CDs.

On the whole, Trouble with the Curve leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s watchable enough if you can put aside the errors and accept the lack of creativity.