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Monday, January 24, 2022

Review: “Tender Bar” – Weird Love Look at Men

Mark Kennedy | Associated Press

If you ever get thirsty on Long Island, check out The Dickens Dive Bar. Good place in all respects. Books are everywhere, a group of lovely, lovable locals and a bartender with a kind soul and cool looks. Flies somehow know when Magna Carta was signed – 1215, stupid! – and line up to buy you a martini if ​​you go to Yale.

Sounds unusual? Welcome to Tender Bar, a coming-of-age movie set in a real life that doesn’t seem quite real. It is a 70s and 80s Men Celebration directed by George Clooney and starring Ben Affleck, who uses the enchanted life to say surprisingly little.

The Tender Bar is the story of J.R. – first with Daniel Ranieri as 11-year-old, and then with Ty Sheridan in his youth, whose father left him and his mother when he was a child, but still haunts his son. distant voice – he’s a DJ on the radio. The school psychologist suggests that JR, whose very name, Junior, is derived from a missing parent, has no identity.

But the community of men – his uncle Charlie (Affleck), his grumpy grandfather (Christopher Lloyd), his friends at Yale University, and even a priest on the commuter train – fill the void. They advise JR, guide him, and accompany him to events. The message is: The guys got this. If the movies smelled, it would smell like cologne, cigars and leather.

JR’s mom, the wonderful Lily Rabe, doesn’t help much, she only has one real desire: for her son to go to Yale University and become a lawyer. Basically, Uncle Charlie has to teach JR the so-called “male sciences” – taking care of your mother, getting a car, not hitting women, saving some money in your wallet in case of emergencies, and learning how to change the tire, among other things. their.

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Affleck is popular in awards season, but this role is made for him, an equally cool cheat, low-key literary, and downright honest. His Charlie looks like that rude but sweet guy from Good Will Hunting who grew up and runs a bar, trading Boston blue collars for Long Island blue collars.

The screenplay by William Monahan is based on Mehringer’s bestseller of the same name. It has some great lines – “If you’re bad at writing, then you’ll become a journalist,” among them – but there is a twistiness in the film, a lack of harshness.

In part because JR gets everything he strives for: Yale, a job at The New York Times, a career as a writer, and even this unattainable rich girl for a while. Every time JR exits the bar, the tape disappears, signaling to focus on Charlie and his nephew.

There are intriguing touches on how things could have gone, especially when J.R. and Charlie discuss how the storytelling itself develops or can form, such as crafting on the meta level. After an unexpected turn in JR’s career, Charlie suggests, “You can fool it.” And later he suggests a plot twist: “If there is some kind of structure, you know what you need to do.” This, of course, means stalking the Pope.

“The Tender Bar” is a gentle, oddly thoughtful yet loving take on men, backed up by soundtracks to classics such as Paul Simon’s 50 Ways to Leave a Lover and Do It Again by Styles Dan. This is a valentine for the right guy. When a police officer in one scene tells JR that he cannot choose who his father is, JR gives the best answer: “Maybe.”

“Delicate bar”

2 stars out of 4

Rating: R (for language and some sexual content)

Duration: 105 minutes

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