I Saw A Film!

Cute, pre-crazy Tom Cruise is a schlub just out of the military hoping to take advantage of the American bourgeois dream. As he takes a couple of obnoxious courses on economics he learns how to be an entertainment bartender under the wing of cynical Brian Brown who spouts all manner of working-class macho platitudes while passively considering opening his own drinking establishment. The crowd-pleasing drink pouring sequences set to rock and roll are the goofiest thing next to Bollywood item numbers (I could totally picture Hrithick Roshan wiggling around and doing exactly this sort of ridiculous dance).

As the film progresses Cruise must separate from his mentor over a frustration and he ends up in the Caribbean pouring drinks on the beach for rich folks, where, he meets a cutie, Elizabeth Shue, and immediately runs into his old mentor again, on vacation with his new wealthy wife, who cynically eggs him into hitting on a wealthy single at the beach bar. And so it goes, Shue gets hurt, flees, and leaves the silly bartender chasing after a rich lady as her boy-toy thinking she’s going to invest in his ideas at some point. Instead he holds her coat and looks good in clothes she buys him.

No one can ever just talk to each other in these types of movies. Drama is always most expediently produced by the method of ill-advised inability to communicate clearly. At some point Brown’s character snarkily says something about Cruises character thinking he’s going to get into the wealthy people world by stealing a key. Shue’s character defends Cruise’s optimism but here’s the rub-Shue’s character turns out to be wealthy too. In the end what we learn is that our lot in life is to find lovable wealthy people to attempt to manipulate.

As if this wasn’t enough of a storyline the film makers up the ante by having Brown kill himself off and leave a snarky note about burying the dead before they stink up the place. At his funeral there’s a priest saying something about with God we’re all safe (a weird thing to have at a cynic’s funeral). Cruise makes up with Shue after behaving like a jackass to some blue collar door protectors and after rejecting a check from her dad hoping to buy him off (oh she’s preggers, and he’s feeling a powerful urge to step up, aww).

are you intrigued? wouldn’t it be funny if the film was about Cruise abandoning the pregnant girlfirend? This is running free on prime in USA and if you haven’t yet figured it out it’s an odd story about accomplishing nothing without wealthy people in USA, good thing they’re often so pretty and so willing to help!

3 thoughts on “Cocktail (1987)

    1. So much to learn from this film!
      At one point Cruise is being chastised by Brian Brown’s squeeze because he doesn’t want to bed his mentor’s lady, and she responds, like no woman in history, You Mean I have to live with only one man! Cruise’s character, instead of saying something normal like, of course not it’s just not gonna be me, ends up unloading the weirdly unmasculine and super judgey line , ‘It’s called marriage!” Such blasts at gender tradition I was NOT expecting from this heap of bogus money-grubbing.


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