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With dreams of becoming a successful businessman and even a millionaire, the ex-military man, Brian Flanagan, waits for his big break while serving drinks at a New York City tavern and studying for his degree. However, when the charismatic cynic and veteran bartender, Doug Coughlin, becomes the ambitious Brian's sage mentor, their chemistry combined with the flamboyant tricks behind the bar will soon yield fame and money until they decide to split ways. Eventually, as Flanagan struggles to raise money in Jamaica to open his own bar someday, he will fall hard for the striving waitress Jordan Mooney, while a wealthy fashion executive wants to take him back to Manhattan to live with her. Is there a future between Brian and Jordan? Written by
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"Cocktail" from 1988 is one of the films that solidified Tom Cruise's superstar status. He stars in this film with Bryan Brown, Lisa Banes, and Elizabeth Shue.
Cruise plays Brian Flanagan, a young man with a lot of dreams of making big bucks. After getting out of the service, he relentlessly seeks a job in New York City, finally snagging one as a bartender in a upper east side, trendy bar, where he works alongside Doug Coughlin, his boss. Before long they're an attraction in and of themselves, throwing bottles to one another, finishing off each other's drinks, all the while dancing, turning, and gyrating.
Brian goes to business school as well, but given his late nights, it's exhausting and not very fulfilling.
He and Doug both have dreams of owning their own bars, and the two become great friends. However, after a huge fight, Brian goes to Jamaica and runs a bar there, making good money and falling for Jordan, a pretty waitress (Shue). Then Doug shows up, having married rich, and when a very classy, upscale woman (Banes) comes to the bar, Doug bets Brian that he can't get to first base with her. He does, and Jordan sees him do it, and drops out of the picture.
Back in New York, Brian finds out living with a high-powered woman is no picnic - in fact, it's pretty humiliating -- and he runs into Jordan again.
"Cocktail" doesn't have much of a plot, but it has two very attractive leading men, sexy Bryan Brown and, of course, Cruise, handsome even with his old nose and looking quite different than he did in "The Color of Money." He's very charming,likable, and exudes a lot of youthful energy. He has some emotional moments, too, which he handles well.
"Cocktail" is a light film aimed at a younger crowd than I was even in 1988, but anyone can enjoy its swinging New York atmosphere, lazy Jamaican sun, great soundtrack, and two wild bartenders. Underneath it all, it's about the dreams of youth and the reality of being out in the world. That's a message everyone learns pretty quickly.
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