The Tender Bar

Director: George Clooney
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 1.5

Underwhelming adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist J.R. Moehringer's memoir starts with him as a boy (Daniel Ranieri) moving into his Grandparents' house because his Mom (Lily Rabe) can't pay the bills and gaining valuable life advice from his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) - in his late teens/early twenties (played here by Tye Sheridan), he gets into Yale University, falls in love with a flake (Briana Middleton), works (briefly) for the New York Times and tries to reconnect with his alcoholic father (Max Martini).  Clooney certainly likes Dad Jokes so there's plenty of that to go around (he lets Ben try to be most of the comic relief) not to mention the meta-commentary (everyone talks about how memoirs are the hottest trend in publishing, J.R.'s biological Dad admits he's the villain, etc.), but what really irks me is how rote it is: a lot of people came from similar situations and managed to succeed (it reminds me - unfortunately - of 2020's Hillbilly Elegy).  For products of the 1970's it might evoke a stronger sense of nostalgia, but I didn't exist then: I was still clinging to God's gleaming robe, begging Him not to send me down here.