Ben Affleck is returning to the era of Dazed and Confused for director George Clooney’s latest sentimental family drama, as we can see below in this first trailer for The Tender Bar. The film, headed to theaters on Dec. 17, 2021 and quickly to Amazon Prime Video after that on Jan. 7, 2022, is adapted from the best-selling memoir of the same name by author J.R. Moehringer, and takes place in both 1974 and 1990 as a young boy comes of age and begins to pursue his dreams. As the official synopsis puts it:
The Tender Bar tells the story of J.R. (Tye Sheridan), a fatherless boy growing up in the glow of a bar where the bartender, his Uncle Charlie (Ben Affleck), is the sharpest and most colorful of an assortment of quirky and demonstrative father figures. As the boy’s determined mother (Lily Rabe) struggles to provide her son with opportunities denied to her — and leave the dilapidated home of her outrageous if begrudgingly supportive father (Christopher Lloyd) — J.R. begins to gamely, if not always gracefully, pursue his romantic and professional dreams — with one foot persistently placed in Uncle Charlie’s bar.
In short, it sounds like a very familiar, fuzzy kind of family dramedy, tinged with the same sort of growing up experiences that were likely familiar to both Clooney and Affleck. Still, it’s fun to see the 82-year-old Christopher Lloyd back on screen as the cantankerous grandfather, and early buzz for The Tender Bar has been very kind of Affleck’s performance in particular. Perhaps the film can aspire to more than simply nostalgia, although the trailer being almost entirely set to Paul Simon’s “Me And Julio Down by the Schoolyard” doesn’t exactly suggest that’s a priority. Regardless, check out wise bartender Affleck below as he slings both beers and aphorisms.