The Tender Bar
Director
George Clooney
Writer
Screenplay by William Monahan; Based on The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer
Actors
Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd, Max Martini, Rhenzy Feliz, Briana Middleton, Max Casella, Sondra James, Michael Braun, Matthew Delamater, Ivan Leung, Billy Meleady, Kate Avallone, Mark Boyett, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ezra Knight, David Carl, Shannon Collis, Michael Steven Costello, Jackson Damon, Daniel Washington, Steve Gagliastro, Ron Livingston
Runtime
1 h 44 min
Release Date
17 December 2021
Genres
Drama
Overview
J.R. is a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie, is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. As the boy’s determined mother struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams, with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar.
  • Rating

THE TENDER BAR

Girls have Edge of Seventeen, Lady Bird, All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Juno, Little Women, and many more coming-of-age movies. Boys have Stand By Me in 1986, which is relatable for me. Boys also have superb coming-of-age films such as Moonlighting and Billy Elliot, which I do not connect with. Finally, The Tender Bar is a coming-of-age movie about a boy closer to the things I can relate to – friends, family, alcohol, bars, college, and women.

The Tender Bar is not an Oscar contender, but it is a funny, honest memoir of JR Moehringer, based upon his book of the same name. If it were pure fiction, the ending would have been more fulfilling, but there are enough amusing and memorable scenes and characters to make The Tender Bar worth watching.

The Tender Bar coming-of-age movie

JR (Daniel Ranieri) and Mom (Lily Rabe) © 2021 Amazon Studios − All right reserved.

JR is an elementary school-aged boy with a deadbeat DJ Dad on the radio in New York. Dad is only known to JR as The Voice. Mom is a struggling single mom forced to return to her father’s home in Manhasset, Long Island, in 1973. The rest of Dad’s kids and grandkids have also returned home to make it a full house, much to Dad’s chagrin. Christopher Llyod is amusing as the resentful, grumpy father who says and does whatever he wants. Llyod doesn’t talk much, but it is good to see him in the film.

The story focuses on JR and JR’s uncle, Uncle Charlie, played by Ben Affleck.

The Tender Bar coming-of-age movie

Christopher Lloyd, Lily Rabe, and Ben Affleck © 2021 Amazon Studios − All right reserved.

The forever young-looking Affleck reminds me of his character in Good Will Hunting 25 years earlier (1997). Uncle Charlie is a towering and formative figure in JR’s life. Affleck is great as the cool uncle teetering on the edge of being a sarcastic a-hole. However, he remains a sincere, likable character. Uncle Charlie teaches JR the unspoken “Male Sciences” – things JR needs to know – like where to put your butts, where not to put your money, and don’t drink your stashies, an amusing scene. The scenes when JR is a kid hanging out with Uncle Charlie and his friends, Bobo, Chief, and Joey D, are the most endearing.

Lily Rabe is the depressed mom who is not given a huge role but plays the stressed-out, caring mom well. Her sister and all the other kids remain in the background.

Tye Sheridan, the older JR, is overshadowed by his younger self, played by ten-ish-year-old Daniel Raineri. Raineri held his own against Affleck, Christopher Llyod, and Lily Rabe. Daniel Rainieri is the first thing you remember about the film.

The Tender Bar coming-of-age movie

Uncle Charlie and JR (Tye Sheridan) © 2021 Amazon Studios − All right reserved.

The Tender Bar is a fun coming-of-age movie – and – the “Male Sciences” may become a thing. Excellent music from the era plays throughout the entire film. An enjoyable movie worth watching.

 

Movie Details

Director
George Clooney
Writer
Screenplay by William Monahan; Based on The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer
Actors
Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd, Max Martini, Rhenzy Feliz, Briana Middleton, Max Casella, Sondra James, Michael Braun, Matthew Delamater, Ivan Leung, Billy Meleady, Kate Avallone, Mark Boyett, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ezra Knight, David Carl, Shannon Collis, Michael Steven Costello, Jackson Damon, Daniel Washington, Steve Gagliastro, Ron Livingston
Runtime
1 h 44 min
Release Date
17 December 2021
Genres
Drama
Overview
J.R. is a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie, is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. As the boy’s determined mother struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams, with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar.

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