The Tender Bar
review by Bobby Blakey
Both George Clooney and Ben Affleck have not only made a name for themselves in front of the camera but behind as well. Now the two are teaming up with Affleck starring in Clooney’s latest directing effort The Tender Bar co-starring Tye Sheridan, Emmy Award Winner Christopher Lloyd, Lily Rabe, and introducing Daniel Ranieri based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by J.R. Moehringer. Could this movie bring some tenderness or will it need another drink?
The Tender Bar follows the story of J.R., 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.
I was eager to see what kind of project that Affleck and Clooney would churn out and to no surprise it was a damn good movie. The story isn’t overly exciting and instead is real life stuff, but executed in a way that brings so much depth, heart, laughs and sadness that you can’t help but get invested. The story is rested on the shoulders of both Sheridan and newcomer Ranieri who deal with varying things in life and family at different important stages in their life.
While the story is about his life growing up the real magic here is the relationship between both versions and their uncle played by Affleck. Some of the best moments of the movie come between Affleck and Raineri with him just giving life advice or hanging out. They have great chemistry and really bring something special together to this movie. It’s the kind of thing that just makes
you smile seeing the pure love and care they share and how Affleck is doing his best to make him feel love and growth.
The film isn’t a major standout as something new or original, but it’s just truth and life at its core and delivers thanks to the great story and even better performances. Check out The Tender Bar in theaters and on Prime Video now.