Is The Tender Bar based on a true story?

George Clooney's new film stars Ben Affleck…

The Tender Bar is Prime's latest offering with some star-studded names attached to it. Not only is award-winning actor Ben Affleck leading the cast, but George Clooney is the director behind the film.

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The new movie has generated some buzz online since its release in early 2022, with Ben picking up a nomination at this year's Golden Globes in the Best Supporting Actor category. As well as loving the plot and A-list performances, many are wondering if the movie is based on a true story. Here's everything we know…

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WATCH: The Tender Bar - official trailer for George Clooney-directed new movie

Is The Tender Bar based on a true story?

The Tender Bar movie has been adapted from the memoir of the same name by J. R. Moehringer, which outlines the writer's childhood during the 1970s. Therefore, the film is based on real events.

In the book, the writer details how his father left him as a child to be raised by his mother, his uncle Charlie, and his uncle's acquaintances who visited his relatives' bar in Long Island. It's this story which forms the basis of the film, albeit with a few minor changes.

The film focuses on nine-year-old J. R. Maguire who, along with his mother, moves back in with his grandparents after his dad walks out on them. After moving back to the area, J.R. begins visiting his uncle Charlie's bar, Dickens, and soon the relatives strike up a strong bond. Charlie becomes a father figure to J.R., encouraging him to work hard despite his family troubles and keep focusing on his dream to become a successful writer. 

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The Tender Bar is based on a true story

Who stars in The Tender Bar?

As mentioned previously, The Tender Bar sees Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck lead the cast as bartender Uncle Charlie. Playing the part of writer, J.R. is Tye Sheridan, who viewers will recognise from his stints in the X-Men film series.

Meanwhile, J.R. has two other actors portraying him in the film during different time scales. Young J.R. is played by Daniel Ranieri and older J.R. is played by Ron Livingston. Other names appearing in the case are Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd and Sondra James.


Ben Affleck with Jennifer Lopez at The Tender Bar's film premiere in December

What have the stars said about The Tender Bar?

Ben Affleck opened up about the film, explaining how memories from his own childhood were triggered when making the movie. "My dad worked at a couple of bars," he told Vanity Fair, adding: "My parents were divorced, so my brother [Casey Affleck] and I, we'd often go see my dad at his work, like many people do. It had a community there with people to talk to and who supported you."

Watch The Tender Bar by signing up to Prime Video. Enjoy unlimited streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows. The first 30 days are free, and £7.99 / $12.99 after. 

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