THE TENDER BAR: 2021 (Netflix) This George Clooney-directed movie is based on 2006 memoir by journalist JR Moehringer, and the writer collaborated on the film. It is a coming-of-age tale about a young boy with an absent father. When JR’s father doesn’t pay child support, he and his mother are forced to move into the family home of his grandfather. Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck) takes the place of the father figure in JR’s life. Early on, Charlie tells Jr that he’s watched him playing sports and he isn’t very good. He suggests to JR that he find something else to concentrate on, and the boy tells his Uncle that he likes to read. Charlie is a great reader and owns a bar named “Dickens,” so there is an instant connection. Jr’s mother has a different path for the boy: She wants him to go to Yale and become a lawyer, but JR is destined to be a writer. He does graduate from Yale, however. Affleck is excellent and proves what a good actor he is. He’s surrounded by a good cast—Christopher Lloyd is JR’s grandfather. You will probably notice that I don’t put periods after JR’s name, but you’ll have to watch the film to find out why. Anthony Lane, of the New Yorker magazine, said in his review that “The gist of the critical response has been that "The Tender Bar" follows a well-worn path. Fair enough, but is that such a sin?” Gary and I don’t figure it’s a sin, and, in spite of what the critics on Rotten Tomatoes think, we think the movie is much better than a 51%. GRADE B+