1988, Movies

Cocktail (1988, Roger Donaldson)

Can I review a movie I missed the first 20 or so minutes of? And which I cooked pastitsio through? Well, I’m doing it anyway!

This is a pretty dumb movie about extraordinarily charismatic bartenders learning lessons in love and life, which really hasn’t dated well in how it portrays women.

I have never been to a bar where bartenders do tricks with cocktail shakers, and I didn’t drink in 1980s, as I was a child so I don’t know why this was a thing or if it ever was a thing. But I can’t say I’m charmed. And I must say that, though I’ve laughed at many a server’s jokes in my time, I don’t find their shtick super compelling, especially when Brown goes to recruit Cruise and they just insult each other.

But whatever, they’re charismatic actors and I guess it’s appealing. The plot is stupid though, as who really cares about star bartenders. Maybe I’m an idiot and this is a thing but it feels far more like money would be thrown at a chef, not a bartender. (You know, as that’s what happens now.) Though I guess if you just meat some rich lady, you get to have your bar.

The real issue is the way the film treats women, whether it’s Lynch, who is apparently just a rich, massive slut, or whether it’s Shue, one of those women who loves the protagonist only she needs to be harassed in order to realize it, or whether it’s Gershon, or that whomever the older woman is. None of them feel like real women and certainly none of them feel like fair portrayals of women. The only likable one is Shue and, of course, she’s one of those women who is totally okay with her boyfriend cheating on her as long as she gets pregnant and he pursues her aggressively (and says he doesn’t care about money now). It makes for a pretty silly movie.

But it’s fun to play “Oh look it’s that person”.


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