The Tender Bar – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Tender Bar – Sips of Conversations: Odes of Life’s Journey

Life is built through our own design.  Moving along an unknown journey, the structure is how we come to find our place in this world.  Seeing life grow is something poignant, especially within film.  In this review, I look at an Indie/Drama that showcases the simplistic moments of life.  A tale of family, love and purpose, this film shows us the moments that characterizes … us.  A general story with wholesome characters, The Tender Bar shows that principle can come with a simple drink and conversation. 

Based on memoirs, the story follows JR (Tye Sheridan) as he tries to find his own place in the world.  With many things unknown, his answers become defined by moments with Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) at the Dickens Bar.  From the beginning, the film’s foundation is defined by a directive built around the concept of life’s journey.  Through voiceover narration and flashbacks, the beginning introduces us to JR in his childhood.  Him and his mom (Lily Rabe) are left on their own (by their father), so they move back home to Long Island.  A young kid left without a father figure; he finds refuge at his Uncle’s Bar.  As the story follows JR struggles at school and home, the centrality of meaning is defined within the unique stylings of conversations and Charles Dickens’ novels found at the bar.  These moments lead to a stoic relationship between him and Uncle Charlie.  The concepts are very generalized within a linear directive, but the relationship raises the journey to a genuine tale of heart.  As the story builds through life’s moments of family and adolescence, there is wholesome creation of worth.  The fragility shows a person that becomes better with each new step forward.  The ironies of life become natural, even when things are convenient.

As the story move into the second half, JR heads off into the early aspect of adulthood.  With new challenges ahead, the natural stepping-stones continue to be wrapped in the relations at The Dickens Bar.  Each thing encountered (college, romance, first jobs) become a self-reflection of relatable aspect of own guise.  The linear directive reveals a simplistic mode of relativity, but it is complimented in those conversations that make everything poignant, whimsical and common.  As JR starts to see more conflict (on the horizon), it leads into a third act where final conversations become a raw tale of revelation.  Left with his wits and defining moments (from the bar), it warps in an ambiguous climax that becomes a mirror in our lives.  The Tender Bar is a simple tale that reveals the wholesome aspect of life.  With strong characters and relative moments, you will not be disappointed.  If you are a fan of simple tales, actors/actresses involved or like life happen, this is one for you.  It is available on Prime Video, but it would have been a fun time on the big screen.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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