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Hey Bartender (2013)

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Two bartenders try to achieve their dreams through bartending. An injured Marine turns his goals to becoming a principal bartender at the best cocktail bar in the world. A young man leaves ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tony Abou-Ganim
Jeff Bell
Matt Biancanello
Jason Bran
Jacob Briars
Jackson Cannon
Steve 'Carpi' Carpentieri
Toby Cecchini
Dale Degroff
Philip Duff
Simon Ford
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Two bartenders try to achieve their dreams through bartending. An injured Marine turns his goals to becoming a principal bartender at the best cocktail bar in the world. A young man leaves his white-collar job to buy the corner bar in his hometown years later he struggles to keep afloat. The bar is three deep and the bartenders are in the weeds at the greatest cocktail party since before Prohibition. Hey Bartender is the story of the rebirth of the bartender and the comeback of the cocktail. Featuring the world's most renowned bartenders and access to the most exclusive bars in New York with commentary from Graydon Carter, Danny Meyer and Amy Sacco. Written by 4th Row Films

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7 June 2013 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A Well-made Documentary about the Emerging World of Cocktail Bartending, but kind of Elitist
9 March 2013 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

I certainly enjoyed seeing the world premiere of Hey, Bartender at the SXSW Film Festival, but at the same time the film left me a little uninspired. The film is undoubtedly well-made and well-edited from a technical perspective. Many of bartenders seemed to have interesting personal stories and ideas about their profession. I also enjoyed the history of how the culture of bars has evolved in the United States. The images of some of the bartenders practicing their craft are quite impressive.

But somehow with all that the film has going for it the idea that bar tending should be viewed as a profession or even a culinary art form seemed like an uninteresting topic if you don't generally patronize expensive Manhattan bars that seem to cater to an extremely wealthy clientèle. I found myself much more intrigued by the one bartender – Carpi - who ran a corner bar in a small town in Connecticut. However, the movie seemed to be suggesting that his good old-fashioned neighborhood bar was now antiquated and that in order to survive he should modernize and become a fancy Manhattan-style bar with expensive craft cocktails. The whole premise of the film seemed very classist and arrogant. I'd much rather get a beer at a neighborhood bar than at a fancy cocktail lounge. Also, the film completely ignored all of the damage that the alcohol does to so many lives. As a whole, the film is too elitist for my taste.


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