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Written by / 11/17/2012 / 2 Comments / , , , ,

TOM CRUISE IN COCKTAIL

year: 1988 cast: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elizabeth Shue, Lisa Banes, Ron Dean, Paul Benedict, Kelly Lynch, Gina Gershon
TAPS aside, which was before he became a big star, Tom Cruise simply can’t lose. At one point he hardly played a character that didn’t come out a sheer winner, or wasn't the best at something: flying jets, shooting pool, practicing law, or serving drinks – he’s always pinnacle at his game.

In COCKTAIL, Tom’s struggling dreamer Brian Flannagan, out of the military and trying to make it big in New York City, is doing bartender acrobats with wily mentor Bryan Brown as the freewheeling Doug Coughlin, and it all seems a bit too silly. But when Brian winds up serving drinks on a Caribbean Island, Elizabeth Shue, as Jordan Mooney, brings the story down to Earth.
Bryan Brown as mentor Doug Coughlin
After a whirlwind romance they split apart: she returns to New York as a waitress while Brian, during a sequence that could have been filler but winds up completely fulfilling, becomes a business woman's boy toy. But soon enough he winds up back with Coughlin, who, married to a sexy rich girl and living the dream as a nightclub owner, has burned his financial bridges.

Although the scenes with Cruise and Brown during the first part are utterly ridiculous, it’s probably the most fun COCKTAIL gets. Their drink-making routines to rock music as customer/audiences roar with applause has addicting camp value. But the final act, as Brian has to prove his love to Jordan – not the person he was led to believe – feels a bit rushed. As does the fate of Coughlin, more or less the film’s most endearing character. (Brian even refers to him as "Obi Wan" in one scene.)

And so, despite the flaws, like a cool buzz on a hot day, this Cruise vehicle won’t disappoint: unless you’re expecting something deep or realistic. Just sit back and enjoy all the chapters of this fluffy tale that never slows down.
Cruise with Elizabeth Shue, and that's her brother Andrew Shue as an extra in the background
The Sketch that Elizabeth Shue's "perfect girl" ingenue draws of Tom Cruise on the beach in COCKTAIL
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2 comments:

  1. The Bryan Brown from Breaker Morant right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. yeah. cruise usually has a mentor in his movies (gene hackman, paul newman, etc) and Bryan is the man in this. he's great. the movie is campy but Brown grounds it.

    ReplyDelete

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