Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Cocktail (1988)

Cocktail (1988)

After moving to New York, materialistic, on-the-make bartender Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) becomes disillusioned when wealth and a glamorous job fail to materialise.


He turns to bartending under the tutelage of barman Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown) and learns all the tricks of the trade. But his new lifestyle brings its own problems.

Having turned fighter pilots and pool players into sex objects in Top Gun (1986) and The Color of Money, Tom Cruise attempted to do the same service for, er, bartenders in this hackneyed romantic drama.

Cruise learns all about the meaning of life by mixing drinks, with instruction from Australian Bryan Brown’s veteran barman. Admittedly, Cruise’s technique is pretty impressive – he juggles with bottles, jiggles his behind and makes his female customers drunk with desire.

cocktail_57But then along comes Elisabeth Shue, who makes him reassess his materialistic, on-the-make lifestyle.

Cue lots of serious dialogue, but the film flounders in its attempt to appear serious and is saddled with a phoney script and silly situations.

Perhaps the best one can say for this bland concoction is that every bartender in Hollywood wants to be Tom Cruise . . . and that suffices as an ironic subtext.

Brian Flanagan
Tom Cruise
Doug Coughlin
Bryan Brown
Jordan Mooney
Elisabeth Shue
Lisa Banes
Mr Mooney
Laurence Luckinbill
Kerry Coughlin
Kelly Lynch
Gina Gershon
Uncle Pat
Ron Dean
Robert Donley
Ellen Foley
Andrea Morse

Roger Donaldson