Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Coughlin's Law: When He Pours, He Reigns

I caught Cocktail last weekend. It's been a couple of years since I last saw it, so I went to IMDb to look up some random facts. I got thrown off when I saw that it only got 5.4 out of 10 stars. This is only slightly above the 5.1 rating of Agent Cody Banks, which I also caught this weekend. I thought this was a travesty,until I got deep into the movie and realized how ridiculous it really was.

Cocktail was a triumphant story about a young man, who overcame the odds to start his own chain of mall bars and broke class bonds by marrying a super-rich Elisabeth Shue. A classic story, but let's be honest the real reason people saw this movie was to see a young Tom Cruise juggle bottles of Jim Beam.

The bartending & showmanship were great, but if you had to wait that long for a drink, you'd be cursing & determined not to leave the guys any tips. It's not Benihana. On top of that, the scene ended with Coughlin & Flanagan toasting each other. They were making drinks for themselves. Assholes!

And what about the scene at Cell Block, when Flanagan is able to quiet 3+ stories of club-revelers to do his barman poet schtick? What this tells me is it's possible for a bartender to command the attention of hundreds of partying NYers who just want to drink, dance & get laid, just so he can recite a poem about drinks, like the Sex on the Beach or the Long Island iced tea, that no one outside of college or a beach orders.

Let's move on to the bar. The bar where young Flanagan learns his craft is T.G.I. Friday's. Now, I must admit that I very much enjoy their burgers. However, I don't think any Friday's is as lively or packed as the one shown in this scene. I challenge you to tell me of a single Friday's anywhere in the country that gets as raucous as the one depicted in the film. This definitely would not happen in NYC.

I mentioned Elisabeth Shue earlier. She isn't unlike many young NYC girls, who claim to be independent of daddy's money. She works at an entry-level position, in her case as a waitress at a diner, so she can support herself & live on her own. But her apartment is actually really nice, and it doesn't really make sense that someone with her job could actually afford to live alone in that apartment... or the nice beach vacation she took with her friend. Keep in mind she was at the same resort where a now-rich Coughlin is honeymooning with his millionaire wife. I'm guessing she gets mad tips because she's so cute. I guess her character is actually spot-on. (Just to be clear, there's nothing wrong with getting help from daddy. Family phone plan, anyone? Just don't complain that you're barely getting by on your own, then show Tom Cruise your really nice apartment.)

I know I just ripped a lot on this movie, but don't mistake that for hate. I still thoroughly enjoy this movie; it's fantastic. Like the movie poster says, "When he pours, he reigns." 

(Side note: I find the aging of Bryan Brown, who played Coughlin, to be absolutely amazing. He was 41 when Cocktail came out. When I saw him again in Along Came Polly 16 years later, he didn't look like he had aged a day. He must have some Asian in him.)