THE TENDER BAR – Rated R – 1h 46m

This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser

DIRECTOR:  George Clooney

WRITER’S:  JR Moehringer (book) *& William Monahan (screenplay)

STARRING:  Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd, and Max Martini

Based on the memoir written by Pulitzer Prize novelist JR Moehringer, and hitting as one of my favorite movies this year…we venture into JR’s young life, as he and his mom (played by Lily Rabe) are forced to move back in with his grandfather (played by Christopher Lloyd), due to financial troubles, much to his mother’s dismay…

Lucky for JR, his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) is living with them too, inevitably making this “change in scenery” pretty special for a young boy, in search of the father-figure sadly, he has never had.  And then when Uncle Charlie sees fit to take JR to meet his buddies down at his bar, JR’s life really begins to change for the better…

Excited to hear what words of wisdom Uncle Charlie might have for him next, JR hangs at his uncle’s bar as often as possible, hoping that Uncle Charlie, and his buddies, can fill the big void, left by his deadbeat Dad, Radio personality “the Voice”.

And as JR settles into his life, hanging at Uncle Charlie’s bar, he also manages to form a memorable relationship with his grandparents too, as they want nothing more than for JR to succeed in life, even with he and his mother’s setbacks along the way.

When it’s time for JR to head off to college, it seems harder than ever to leave to leave his family, that is until he notices the gorgeous Sidney (Briana Middleton) about campus, and their whirlwind romance suddenly takes up a lot of his time.

But leave it to Uncle Charlie to keep JR on the straight and narrow, as he tries to be the father-figure JR needs, once again, telling him the ways of the world, whether its dealing with relationships and heartbreak, or how cruel his deadbeat father truly is…

BEN AFFLECK and TYE SHERIDAN star in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD and DANIEL RANIERI star in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD, LILY RABE and BEN AFFLECK star in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
TYE SHERIDAN stars in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
TYE SHERIDAN and LILY RABE star in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
BEN AFFLECK and TYE SHERIDAN star in TENDER BAR Photo: CLAIRE FOLGER © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC
TENDER BAR

I give THE TENDER BAR a rating of 4/5!  The Tender Bar is one of the most touching films to hit the screen this year, as Tye Sheridan and Ben Affleck both give award worthy performances, playing JR Moehringer, and his down-to-earth and totally adorable Uncle Charlie. Director George Clooney should be given some accolades for this film too, as there is not a bad performance throughout this touching, real-life story, that also features Christopher Lloyd playing a grumpy old grandfather, with a heart of gold, and Lily Rabe as the struggling single-mother, just hoping to provide a life for her young son, that is better as the years role by.  I also really enjoyed the way this film allows us to venture throughout JR’s life, experiencing the heartbreak and loneliness he feels constantly, at the hands of his fly by night, narcissistic father.  I also loved seeing the relationship that ensues between JR and Uncle Charlie’s bar buddies, as you never know where your true friendships in life will come from, or how important and worldly those guys belly up to the bar are going to be for a growing boy, trying to find his purpose in life.  Filled with a sense of real-life pain, while also sharing the importance of perseverance the whole way through, THE TENDER BAR is the perfect film to catch this holiday season, with everyone over 17 in your family in tow, as it’s warm and inviting ambiance throughout, should be experienced this weekend, at a theater near you. 

Or if making an outing to the theater this weekend isn’t in the cards, you can also catch this fabulous touchy/feely film when it hits on Amazon Prime on January 4th, two short weeks from now!

4/5

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