Cocktail (1988)

Description   [from Freebase]

Cocktail is a romantic drama film released by Touchstone Pictures in 1988. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film is based on the book of the same name by Heywood Gould, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Tom Cruise as a talented and ambitious bartender who aspires to working in business and finds love with Elisabeth Shue while working at a bar in Jamaica. The original music score was composed by Maurice Jarre. After leaving the United States Army and moving to New York City, Brian Flanagan (Cruise) gets a part-time job as a bartender at T.G.I. Friday's while studying for a business degree (which he needs to get a job in marketing). At first, Brian is a terrible bartender, revealed in a montage of his screw ups. Over time, he learns the tricks of the trade including flairing from his boss/mentor Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown). Brian and Doug soon become very close; Doug readily assumes a mentor role over the young and naive Brian, and rains advice and opinions down upon him. His advice takes a familiar structure as he usually begins most of them with "Coughlin's Law".


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.

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