The Tender Bar (2021) Review

JR grows up in Long Island and his own father is a lost cause and his Uncle Charlie will do anything for him, spending time in his bar and attempting to make something out of his life we follow his story.


Young JR wants nothing more than some attention and to spend time with his father, not knowing a lot about him other than that he works on radio he would try and listen to the different shows that he was on, although it changed a lot. He would then occasionally pop back into his life and spend a little bit of time with him, although often letting him down. His Uncle Charlie was always around to pick up the pieces and quite frankly was a lovely influence on his life, while not the greatest role model to copy he was a great figure to point JR on the right track.

As well as his Uncle he is also given advice and told stories from patrons in the bar he owns and this would help shape him and make him ready to face the world. As he gets older we see a change in actor to show this and things don’t always work out for him and we cannot help feel sorry for him with his failed love life, feeling the pain of loving someone a lot more than they love you.

The Tender Bar has some nice moments throughout the story, although a rather abrupt and sudden ending that left me a little bit flat with how it all worked out. Not really sure what exactly I was expecting at the end but a lot more than we were actually given. Having a look at early childhood experiences and moving into teen/young adult moments and how everything can shape your decisions.

The performances were good enough with Daniel Rainieri and Tye Sheridan sharing the role of JR and both being a driving force within the film. I thought the casting was spot on to have them both play the same character and it felt very real and believable both capturing the same spark of JR. Ben Affleck totally stole different scenes and really was very impressive, he really has a great few years and this is continuing that trend. Lily Rabe had some good moments, although not a massive amount of screen time in comparison to others. It was also utterly wonderful to see Christopher Lloyd in a film again and he had a few great one liners, as well as such a sweet moment.

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