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Monday, March 22, 2010

Retro Flashback: Cocktail

Sometime in 1987, corporate bigwigs desperately try to think up a vehicle for the great Tom Cruise

Bigwig 1#: We need something flashy, something hip.

Big Wig 2#:Maybe he could be a soldier in the army.

Bigwig 1#: Been there, done that.

Bigwig 2#: Maybe he could be a wannabe ad exec

Bigwig 1# Too Wall Street

Bigwig 2#: Maybe he could be a bartender with some flair.

Bigwig 1#: Sold!

Cocktail brings us back to a better time in the '80s when a bad movie was the most embarrassing thing Tom Cruise could do. Tom plays Brian Flanagan, a former soldier who wished to become a marketing exec.

After being rejected by just about everyone, he decides to take some business courses. Unfortunately they are taught by a professor that inexplicably hates his students. This makes Brian lose faith in his dream: to create a chain of bars that could be put in every mall. Bars in a mall? I know they exist but seriously who goes to the mall to get hammered?

Desperate for money, he takes a job as a bartender working alongside Douglas Coughlin, the Yoda of the bar world. Brian and Douglas have way too much chemistry in this film. They should have irradiated the female love interests and turned it into a Brokeback Bartender scenario.

At first, Brian is a mess but there's a certain spark to him and he doesn't get fired. In fact, he becomes one of the greatest flair bartenders who ever lived. He and Douglas are so great that other bars are desperate to hire them. New York City must not have had talented bartenders since people had to go to dive bars to poach them/

But of course there has to be the obligatory betrayal scene. For some inane reason or another, Douglas seduces a girl that Brian barely cares about. This hurts Brian enough to pack up his hippy hippy shake and hightails it to Jamaica.

There he meets Jordan, played by the terminally adorable Elizabeth Shue. All it takes is a few kisses and Kokomo and the two are madly in love. Here he comes to wreck the day! Yes, Douglas reappears now married to a hot, rich, woman. He sneers at Brian dating a poor, cute, student when the island is crawling with Botox beauties.

Brian, who left town when a girl he barely liked cheated on him wastes no time cheating on Jordan, who he claims to love. Jordan finds out and leaves and Brian returns to New York with his new sugar Mommy.

When he realizes that all he is is a pampered boy toy, he dumps his sugar Mommy and tries to make amends with Jordan. It turns out Jordan is rich, pregnant, and not interested. He skulks over to Douglas' bar and asks for a job. Unfortunately, Douglas is a drunken mess and Brian ends up having to take home his wife.

The wife promptly comes on to Brian but now he has learned a larger lesson in life. He returns to Douglas who has committed suicide. Realizing that life is too short, he rescues Jordan from her penthouse prison and finally gets the bar he's always wanted.

They live happily ever after until Brian discovers Scientology....


Sadako said...

Oh, I never watched this, but man, the days when he wasn't a total trainwreck...ahh!

LadyJ3000 said...

He was so handsome in the 80s. Now he's just scary.

Alison said...

Holy Redesign! Where have I been?

I've never seen this. I find it hard to believe that there was a pre-Scientology Tom Cruise.

BananaBomb said...

Hi, I saw this post on Sadako's blog, and just wanted to say, I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!

This happened when Tom Cruise was hot and before people realized that he's only like 5' 2". (Ever notice the stacked-heel boots he's wearing at the museum when he and Bonnie break up?) This is the movie that makes me want to sell everything I own and move to an island somewhere.

I think I just figured out what I'm doing tonight.