Cocktail (1988)

cocktail posterBy: Jenna Zine & Larry Crane (Six Beers) –

[Welcome to a He Said/ She Said review of films! We’re a married couple navigating a shared Netflix queue while balancing our diverging tastes in movie genres. Sometimes we agree – and sometimes one of us loses our place in line!]

Synopsis: Brian Flanagan enters the heady world of bartending, only to lose himself to a bad seed best friend before finding his way back to love.

Ah, the ‘80s! Cocktail is hilarious for a myriad of reasons – chief among them is the setting of TGIFriday’s as the hippest bar in New York. Think about that for a moment. The movie is a frothy concoction (sorry – I couldn’t resist) of tasty schmaltz. Tom Cruise (as Brian Flanagan) is at his Cruisey-est. He’s aided and abetted by Bryan Brown as his business partner/bestie, Doug Coughlin. Ultra-cutie Elisabeth Shue is Brian’s innocent love-interest, Jordan Mooney. Viewers can see the plot “twists” coming from a mile away – but have enough beers (or, hey, cocktails!) and most won’t care. Add this flick to “cheesy cult classics” and enjoy yourself.

Beer One

Earnest Brian Flanagan is adrift in New York City after leaving the Army. He’s near broke and directionless until he stumbles upon TGIFriday’s and quickly procures a job. Soon Brian and his coworker/mentor, Doug, are the most sought after bartenders in town.

She Said: I hope you’re ready for how bad this is going to be.

He Said: I already know it’s gonna be bad. Is he reading a book called, How To Make Your Idea Into A Million Dollars? I think it’s called, “Join Scientology.”

She Said: Life lessons over whisky. Wow, look at his hair! It’s even fluffier than this plot.

He Said: This is some pretty hackneyed shit.

She Said: Apparently TGIFriday’s was hoppin’ in ‘80s NYC. They’re making it look like the equivalent to Studio 54. The dancing. The fashions. The bottle twirling. It’s all too much.

He Said: This director must be blind.


Bottle panache. 

Beer Two

Brian and Doug can’t be tamed! They soon outgrow TGIFriday’s and move on to Cell Block – a bar fashioned after a jail cell, where the patrons try to outdo each other by reciting poetry. Seriously.

He Said: This doesn’t make any sense. These bartenders invent a way to make drinks more slowly and they’re celebrities? I do not understand.

She Said: “Cocktails & Dreams. Hey, that’s a great name for a bar.” No, no it’s not! Cocktails & Dreams? Seriously? How about cock dreams? Now that’s something I can get behind. And as if on cue there are boobs for you, Larry. Joel Silver [the producer] is listening!

He Said: “A star never pukes or passes out in public.” Obviously this movie was made well before Lindsay Lohan’s time.

She Said: What do you think young Brian Flanagan would think of the Kardashians?

He Said: I don’t know, but either way his business partner would try to screw ‘em.


This is an actual screenshot from the film. Repeat: actual screen shot. That’s the design they came up with for the bar of their dreams? The budget must’ve been tight! 

Beer Three

And screw Doug does – both literally and figuratively. Brian is having a fling with a sexy chick named Coral (Gina Gershon, vamping it up as usual), but Doug convinces her to sleep with him instead. Brian finds out about the indiscretion, punches Doug and flees to Jamaica. High drama!

He Said: This is so trite. How could you possibly care about these people?

She Said: I hope this beach bar scene is like the one in Bad Santa.

He Said: Ah, the [Elizabeth] Shue. Now things are looking up. Not many ladies fit the Shue. Get it? If the Shue fits, wear it.

She Said: Were puns covered in our marriage vows? I think we need an addendum to our pre-nup.

He Said: We don’t have a pre-nup.

She Said: Shit, I knew I forgot something.


Girl, you’re about to get soooo lucky!

Beer Four

Jamaica is good to Brian. He falls for a tourist named Jordan who just happens to be the love of his life. Doug also pops up in Jamaica, with a new wealthy wife in tow. The two mend their friendship and enjoy the good life.

He Said: This is Rated R for ridiculous.

She Said: So far we’ve seen a 20-minute montage of Brian and Jordan rollicking on the beach. When does he have time to work? They’ve been on, like, a hundred dates in a row!

He Said: This is the worst dialogue ever. No one talks like this.

She Said: They did in the ‘80s, babe. You should remember!


There’s nothing a little yachting can’t cure.

Beer Five

Somehow Doug gets Brian to mess up his relationship… again. Jordan is devastated and flees the island.

She Said: It’s disturbing to think that my generation thought Tom Cruise was hot. The good news is that this movie is old, so it’s probably only an hour and ½ long. Oh, wait! White socks and slippers? It’s just non-stop sexy times.

He Said: God, he’s a turkey. I wonder if anyone from this mess is related to Michael Bay? At least it would explain why the director thinks his audience is stupid.

Beer Six

Tragedy befalls Doug. Jordan gets pregnant. Brian lands the job and the woman of his dreams. Cocktails and dreams that is.

She Said: “It’s a proctologist’s dream; wall to wall assholes.” Best line in the whole movie!

He Said: The best thing about the movie is that it ended.



The film might not have aged as well as bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, but it really is a hoot (despite all of our complaining). Throw it on the tube (the Amazon VOD is cheap), invite some friends over, chill those beers and have a good laugh!

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Tom Cruise cracks that world-class grin.

Take a Drink: every time you can guess a major plot point.

Take a Drink: every time some hot to trot lady tries to get into Brian’s pants.

Take a Drink: every time you think Brian is an idiot for falling prey to Doug’s manipulations.

Take a Drink: every time “the boys” mix up a cocktail.

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise recapper & live-tweeter (@JennaZine1), drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs. Find more at


  1. Tales of a TV Addict

    Can’t stand Tom Cruise other than two movies. He never “did it” for me even growing up in the 80s and 90s. I love the he said/she said idea of reviewing! I can just imagine my Hubs and I over shows I watch or that creepy ass Dark Crystal he made me watch.

  2. Take a drink whenever a guitar riff sounds off after devastating news.

    4 beer movie imo.

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