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Cocktail (1988)


Before there was Coyote Ugly, there was Cocktail.

The story of an ex-G.I. (Cruise) who can’t get a job in the Manhattan business world and turns to bartending to make his fortune is as a bartender, pouring with style, jumping on the counter, and spouting poetry. The love story with rich girl Elisabeth Shue is hilarious — but watch for Kelly Lynch and Gina Gershon, both unknown at the time, in small tryst roles.

Overall, it’s ridiculous (not to mention Cruises’ hairdo), but Cocktail is a real classic of the late-80s self-help moviemaking genre.