The Tender Bar Movie Review: 2021

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tyson moultrie BQTHOGNHo08 unsplash
tyson moultrie BQTHOGNHo08 unsplash

Welcome to The Tender Bar! An old, unnamed man who will refer to himself as “Tender” is the protagonist of this film. A struggling, disabled Vietnam vet who has lost his wife and all of his friends, he is on a quest for meaning and understanding. His only companion is a beat-up stuffed monkey named Mr. Tinkles that he carries around with him at all times like a security blanket. He has the need to constantly be in someone’s face asking questions that are a little farther-out than usual.Labpatrika.com

In America in 2021, people have a very philosophical outlook on life, especially those living down in the South. The movie mainly focuses around Tender and his conversations with a character called Ms. B. about what is meant by the word “happiness”.

The Tender Bar Movie :

1. Acting

Tender and Ms. B. were played by two real people. Tender was played by his creator Hector (the author) and Ms B. was played by his wife Nenette Chacon. Tender could be described as a “Jack of all trades”, he begins to tell his story at a bar to a young woman we later come to know as Ms. B, who works there in 2021.

 He does the various jobs at the bar during the film with the help of his newfound friend, Mr. Tinkles. Mr. Tinkles is a stuffed toy dinosaur that Tender carries around with him at all times like a security blanket. It is very clear that Hector has done research into the period and culture before writing this movie.

 The bar looks like it was in the “alternative” section of a trendy store in the mall, it has very modern architecture and lighting, Tender’s house looks exactly like someone would actually live in during this time (with an old fridge and a microwave). There is realism to the film that makes it look like an actual documentary rather than a made-up movie set for a fictional story as some movies are known for doing these days.

2. Storyline

The story is set in South Carolina, in a small town called Greer, the time is 2021. Tender is an old war veteran who lost the love of his life, Anna and lives alone with their son Wilder. He gets no support from his friends and family (the only friend he does have seems to abandon him at a bar one evening when a fight almost breaks out around him). 

Tender is not very successful with women as well because of his disabilities. He does not drink or smoke but he does use recreational drugs occasionally to help him cope with the pain from after Vietnam. Tender is a voice of reason as he is constantly trying to think of ways in which to change his life and make it easier. He has an elaborate plan however he never manages to implement it due to the lack of motivation and time.

The film starts off with Tender at a bar, meeting Ms. B, the bartender whom Tender comes to befriend over the course of time while they both work at the bar.

3. Plot Twist:

As well as doing all these jobs Tender also goes around looking for various forms of information on what is defined as happiness in our society and how people define it today when compared with how it was 20 years ago. This is where the “twist” of the movie comes in.

When Tender mentions that many of his ideas on happiness come from a book called “the Tender Bar”, which was written by a New York author named J. R. Moehringer, who wrote about his own bar experiences when he was younger, Ms. B promptly makes him read the book to her at work one day when she doesn’t have any other customers. He imitates Moehringer as he reads it to her and goes through after each page explaining how the story relates to his own life.

4. Final Word

The Tender Bar Movie is actually based on the book written by the same title. The book was written by J. R Moehringer who later adapted it into a screenplay for the movie which he also directed and produced. It was a very eloquent and heartwarming movie about how the love of a father can overcome many obstacles in life and lead to happiness or success in life in spite of where you came from or what your current situation is like.

The Tender Bar Movie is a good movie in the sense that it provides very well done acting, great cinematography, a relatively interesting storyline and a team of people who were well cast. The director J.R Moehringer is also the real-life author of the book that the movie is based on and therefore he was able to put into this movie what he has witnessed since he was young in his own life.

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