The Tender Bar is a kind of film that has thoughtful elements of good and bad choices, regrets and lucks, learning and yearning, and goes deep to understand why life always entreats you to move on. This film is a subtle approach for a coming-of-age film to fix the equation of a generational attitude towards learning. With a credible narration, remarkable scenes, powerful dialogues, and an astonishing screenplay by William Monahan, The Tender Bar beautifully reflects on our own life and somewhere do we see ourselves there and agreeing with most of the points most of the major characters speak.
The Tender Bar also reflects on a disturbing childhood and we all audience can relate to the incidents happening in the film. The detailing of this film is done with meticulous care, even the shorter portions have your memories boxed somewhere like the elders smoking or using curse words in front of a child, grandpa farting, parents threatening, mama persuading to join the ranks of a certain institution, a conversation with a fellow passenger on the train, etc.
The Tender Bar bites to harsh realities and also hints you to some people who will always be truly yours, your guide, a parental figure under whose guidance you learn a lot of deal. The film is about accomplishing your targets, fulfilling your dreams, falling in love for the first time. The film is about keeping your mom happy after what she has been through.
The technicalities of this film are just excellent. Brilliant direction by George Clooney and he must get the deserving nomination for the Best Director in the Oscar, really fitting soundtracks, and magnificent performances by Lily Rabe, Tye Sheridan, and Ben Affleck. The latter definitely deserves a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Good to see Ben Affleck back in shape.
The Tender Bar is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning writer J. R. Moehringer‘s memoir of the same name easily the best coming-of-age film I have watched since Call Me By Your Name.
The Golden Girls was one of the earliest sitcoms that was majorly or fully based on women. A show that was run by an all-female lead cast back in the 1980s was a bold move for any producer in those times. We as the audience hardly remember such sitcoms where the female lead ran the business in the right direction. A few ‘female’ sitcoms that I remember to be released before The Golden Girls were Maude, The Facts of Life, The Mary Tyle Moore Show, and Laverne & Shirley. But the distinction The Golden Girls had was that the show was genuinely run by the four leading women. None of the male cast of the show had any capacity of a potential supporting character. Besides a few, mostly showed up in special appearances in one or a couple of episodes.
And the four golden girls were all talented artists. Rue had Maude and Mama’s Family in her credits and Estelle made her name in the theaters and got recognition from this show. Betty White was already a tv legend and Beatrice Arthur was an immensely popular feminist actress in theater and television. It was magic when they appeared together. The formula of their presence and collective comic timing worked thanks to solid writing throughout seven seasons and 180 episodes. It was not only a sitcom as a source of guffaws but also an opportunity to raise any concerns that women felt an obstacle in their walks of life like the elders facing the upstart generation, the status of a homosexual in the society, being overweight, choosing a career at an old age and facing the challenges, and many more.
The writing and performances in The Golden Girls are the heart and soul. The writers had so much to talk about and would construct a well-timed comic line. Each of the four leading characters carried weight and were tough on each other. You cannot say that Sophia was the show stealer for her being a tough Sicilian mother and getting the best jokes from the others. The others played prominent roles as well. Sophia’s daughter Dorothy, a school teacher, had the command in the house. Horny Blanche was obsessed with men and slept with many dozens of them. Swedish immigrant Rose was the group’s dumbest individual who just couldn’t get the point in the conversation and believe anything she is told.
I must mention how strange the chemistry of the Petrillo mother and daughter was. Estelle Getty who played mother Sophia was actually a year younger than Dorothy actress Beatrice Arthur. It was such an impressive make-up that used to take three hours to shape her into the character. But what an enjoyable character that turned out to be.
The Golden Girls has a loyal following within the LGBTQ community. That is because of the story arcs that brought gay characters to highlight their distinction. The sitcom was one of the first to tackle the issue of HIV/AIDS. All four leading actresses were gay supporters.
Here is one shocking FUN FACT! The-then unknown extra Quentin Tarantino impersonated Elvis Presley in one of the episodes, Sophia’s Wedding. That episode was so popular that the residual checks that Tarantino earned by its repeated airing helped him in the making of his debut film, Reservoir Dogs.
Not to forget, George Clooney showed up in one episode for a small role. He wanted a part in the show so he can qualify for his union medical insurance.
It has been almost three decades to this sitcom and as much as the voice of feminism has met its global recognition now, The Golden Girls represents the true nature of liberty and advocates the rights of women and their rank in society. This sitcom with four old ladies met huge success in the decade that was dominated by The Cosby Show, Married With Children, and Cheers. The popularity of the sitcom can be judged this way that the final episode of the show in 1992 was watched by 27.2 million people. The show is recommended to those who are willing to watch a comedy with a different plot and content.
My favorite episodes of The Golden Girls: S01 – E02 – Guess Who’s Coming to the Wedding? S01 – E03 – Rose The Prude S01 – E04 – Transplant S01 – E20 – Adult Education S01 – E23 – Blind Ambitions S02 – E01 – End of the Curse S02 – E02 – Ladies of the Evening S02 – E06 – Big Daddy’s Little Lady S02 – E09 – Joust Between Friends S02 – E23 – Son-In-law Dearest S03 – E01 – Old Friends S03 – E10 – The Audit S03 – E14 – Blanche’s Little Girl S03 – E23 – Mixed Belonging S04 – E06 – Sophia’s Wedding (1) S04 – E07 – Sophia’s Wedding (2) S04 – E10 – Stan Takes a Wife S04 – E17 – You Gotta Have Hope S04 – E19 – Till Death Do We Volley S04 – E21 – Little Sister S05 – E03 – The Accurate Conception S05 – E04 – Rose Fights Back S05 – E11 – Edd Tide S05 – E16 – Clinton Avenue Memoirs S05 – E18 – An Illegitimate Concern S06 – E06 – Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mammy S06 – E09 – Mrs. George Devereaux S06 – E12 – Ebbtide’s Revenge S06 – E14 – Sisters of the Bride S06 – E19 – Melodrama S06 – E23 – Love for Sale S07 – E03 – Beauty and the Beast S07 – E04 – That’s For Me to Know S07 – E11 – Room 7 S07 – E15 – Goodbye Mr. Gordon S07 – E16 – The Commitments S07 – E19 – Journey to the Center of Attention S07 – E22 – Rose: Portrait of a Woman S07 – E23 – Home Again, Rose (1) S07 – E24 – Home Again, Rose (2) S07 – E25 – One Flew Out of the Cuckoo’s Nest (1) S07 – E26 – One Flew Out of the Cuckoo’s Nest (2)