Mar 27, 2012

Cocktail, 1988

Cocktail, 1988
Director: Roger Donaldson
Cast: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue

Stage: Home TV selection on a Sunday night

Cocktail in short: After leaving the Army, Brian Flanagan tries to get a marketing job in New York. But without a college degree, this was not possible. He then decides to start studying for a business degree at the local City College and gets a part time job as a bartender. He realizes that its not that easy, but when his new boss Douglas Coughlin teaches him the secrets of the bar trade and they become the most famous bartenders in town. Both Brian and Doug Coughlin want their own top class cocktail bars someday and Brian's Cocktail Bar is to be called 'Cocktails & Dreams', and in order to get the necessary money to open it, Brian travels to Jamaica to work as a bartender at a resort Tiki Bar, and the pay is good. There he meets Jordan Mooney, a young and pretty, up and coming American artist on vacation with her girlfriend from New York, staying at the Island resort. Jordan and Brian spend some quality time together and fall in love...

Preps: Wow, a classic. I am a huge fan of Cruise in his early age. Obviously also now, however now he specialized in some action adventure movies instead of making a charm. A profiled actor now, once a poster for each teenage dream, including mine :)

Reality: Watching Cocktail cannot be a failure. There are only a few classics (classic comedies from the 80ies) I can watch several times and not get bored, but romantic and nostalgic. Among those are Ghost, Top Gun, Pretty Woman, Back to the Future, and some others. They remind me of that sweet time I used to watch them practically every day with my mother on a VCR).
Therefore, I already know, I will look at Tom with mouth wide open. The strong side of the movies that derive from the eighties can be separated into subsections: always a strong character with a story to amaze (at that time the production of the movies was seriously smaller than nowadays, when every clown can produce a movie). Plus, we had several protagonists at that time to follow, not numerous like today. Secondly, the music. I remember I always begged my mother on my knees to buy me a soundtrack on a cassette or later, I needed it on CD. I think strong music in movie makes its character. It doesn't matter, if it's instrumental (Zimmerman as the high example of my point), or a good combination of songs that support the story being told in a movie. I virtually have originals from most of my classical movies from that time, however, my passion for that has somehow vaporized in last 10 years, as rarely a movie with a really strong music is made, or it unfortunately, gets lost in the crowd of all produced pieces.
Anyhow, the music in Cocktail is really good; communicates the true feeling Tom expresses at various scenes and supports the story perfectly. Plus, we have an american dream attempt, which means I trust the story. It is not all roses and sunshine, the movie depicts a real world, where a wish to succeed isn't always enough to get you in the top league right away. A submission to something good enough is depicted in Cocktail, where stock high level management dream is substituted for a barman position, later the owner of a small bar. Not exactly what the character aimed for, still enough to make the spectator satisfied. And to prove the concept of hard work that will get you anywhere. (at least this is what the movie is selling). We rarely get exactly what we want, so compromise might be something everyone among us can personalize with. Therefore, a story of a success - the piece will get into your veins. If you derive from the 70's, 80's.. you should really love it. For all the clothing, spirit, optimism. The story of a friendship is also very powerful, with a tactical approach towards solving issues (like how you get over if your best friend sleeps with your spouse, etc).
Cocktails and dreams is the name of the wanted dream. I can easily describe the movie in the same three words. If you are wondering, what you are about to see, cocktails and dreams will answer your question to the point.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a strong, solid flow of the story, persuasive actors and Tom in his best years. Plus, the soundtrack is extremely good!)

Cocktail on IMDB

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