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Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones star as rivals at a ritzy Palm Springs retirement villa in the comedy ‘Just Getting Started.’
Broad Green Pictures

For Ron Shelton, the teaming of ace actors Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones is a home run.

The baseball analogies fly like fastballs for the Bull Durham writer/director in describing his latest film Just Getting Started (in theaters Dec. 8), a lighthearted buddy comedy and “slightly off-center Christmas movie” about a couple of oldsters who don’t get along until a woman’s life is on the line.

“It’s like writing (Babe) Ruth and (Lou) Gehrig on the lineup card every day,” Shelton says of working with his two A-listers.

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Freeman stars as Duke, manager of a luxury Palm Springs retirement community called the Villa Capri, who creates a constant party atmosphere for his residents while living the high life of women, poker and lots of golf himself. But when former military man Leo (Jones) moves in with mysterious motives, rivalry ensues. “That’s too many alpha dogs on the property,” Shelton says.

Duke has been up to various shenanigans, including using the resort’s petty cash as his personal ATM machine and playing fast and loose with the books, and his regional director Suzie (Rene Russo) travels to the property to investigate.

“Everybody’s having such a good time, none of the residents care, but the corporation cares,” the director says. “She comes in as the black hat and ends up falling in love with the place, too.”

Duke and Leo have to work together to save Suzie, an object of both their affections, when she’s kidnapped by shady dudes from Duke’s past. “There’s suddenly a car chase, a bad guy and a gun, but we get back to normalcy by New Year’s Eve.”

Freeman and Jones were a…