This film is about the dysfunctional relationship between a father, Gus, who is a baseball scout (played by Clint Eastwood) and his daughter Mickey (named after the famous baseball player "Mickey Mantle") who is an attorney (played by Amy Adams). Gus raised Mickey as a single-parent after her mother died when she was a young child.
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A corporate shark-type, Phillip Sanderson (played by Matthew Lillard) also works for the same team as Gus, the Braves. He wants Gus to be retired in three months when his contract runs out, because he wants to take his job. Phillip tries to impress the General Manager of the baseball team with his computer-based statistical knowledge of the potential recruits, while Gus is old-school. Gus uses his years of experience to find the best players and his intuition instead. The General Manager sends Gus to North Carolina to report on a baseball player that Phillip's computer program says is the best, so the team can decide if they choose him in the upcoming first-round draft pick.
The best friend of Gus is Pete Klein (played by John Goodman), who is head of scouting for the baseball team. Gus is having trouble with his eyesight, which is causing him to trip over things and smash his car into the sides of his garage. Pete finds out about this. Pete asks Gus's daughter Mickey to go to North Carolina with Gus to watch over him. This comes at a time when Mickey is up for being a partner in the major law firm where she works as an associate. It is a terrible time for her to be away from the firm because she has a rival that will do anything to become partner instead of her. But she agrees to go. Mickey's boyfriend also breaks up with her over this because she does not tell him she is going away and she cannot agree to marry him.
When Mickey suddenly arrives in North Carolina to be with Gus, it is very clear that they do not get along at all. Gus tells her to go home. But Mickey refuses, not only because she is worried about her father but because she really needs to talk with him about deep unresolved issues from her childhood. Mickey remembers her childhood as being with her dad after her mom died, enjoying traveling the country following the baseball players. The suddenly without warning or explanation she was taken to live with relatives and her father stopped speaking with her. Later he took her back, but then once again sent her away to boarding school, then university, then law school and stopped talking with her. Mickey really needs to know why all this happened and has been in therapy for years trying to figure it out.
She helps Gus with his scouting efforts. It is clear she knows a great deal about baseball and scouting that she learned from her father. She meets another scout, Johnny (played by Justin Timberlake) and falls for him. Her father finally confesses that the reason he sent her away was to give her a better life than he could being on the road all the time and specifically because he caught a man trying to molest her at age six, beat him, and may have killed him. This revelation, while shocking, gives Mickey some peace because she does not remember the incident, and has always thought she had done something wrong to cause her father to abandon her. The father and daughter finally reconcile. As a team, they come up with some very surprising results from their scouting efforts together.
Best part of story, including ending:
Mickey's skills at baseball rival any man's and it is admirable that she is so strong in a "man's" world and still attractive at the same time.
Best scene in story:
When Mickey and Johnny try clogging (country dancing) for the first time together and actually look good doing it.
Opinion about the main character:
Mickey's stubbornly refuses to give up until she finally gets the truth out of her father. She deserves to have the answers and this brings them both close together once again.