This guilty pleasure hit the silver screen in the summer of 1988. While we still find ourselves watching Cocktail whenever it’s on TV, it’s understandable why the cheesy (and boozy) drama was panned by critics when it first came out.
We can’t help rooting for the young and naïve Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) as he navigates the New York bartending world. Our favorite part is, of course, his epic Last Barman Poet speech, in which he names some of the most popular cocktails of the decade: “the Sex on the Beach; the schnapps made from peach; the Velvet Hammer; the Alabama Slammer...”
Check out what the actors and actresses from this quintessential ‘80s movie are up to now—you may be inspired to watch it again tonight!
Who was your favorite character in Cocktail? Let us know in the comments below.
Cocktail may not be Tom Cruise’s best-known movie, but it was one of the actor’s first and most spirited performances. Since 1988, he’s starred in multiple blockbusters, including four Mission: Impossible movies (with a fifth said to be in the works), Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Tropic Thunder and Oblivion. That’s not to mention his very public marriages to (and divorces from) Katie Holmes and Nicole Kidman. Next summer, he’s set to star with Emily Blunt and Jeremy Piven in a new sci-fi movie called Edge of Tomorrow.
Before Elisabeth Shue co-starred in the last two installments of Back to the Future and the gut-wrenching Leaving Las Vegas, she played Flanagan’s love interest, Jordan Mooney. She’s now on CBS’ hit drama CSI and also appeared on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Catch her later this year in Behaving Badly, which also features Dylan McDermott, Mary-Louise Parker and Selena Gomez.
There’s not really a polite way to say it: Flanagan really gets around in this movie. His first romantic conquest is Coral, a customer at his bar, who later breaks up with him after sleeping with Doug. The character is played by the sexy Gina Gershon, who’s appeared on the big screen dozens of times since, such as in the (in)famous Showgirls and Bound. She’s also had an extensive TV career, doing everything from voicing Catwoman on the animated series The Batman to playing fashion icon Donatella Versace in the Lifetime Original House of Versace.
Bryan Brown’s Doug serves as Flanagan’s mixological mentor, but since this part, Brown has appeared in dozens of films, including Gorillas in the Mist, Along Came Polly and Australia. More recently, he’s appeared in TV shows and miniseries, including CBS’ The Good Wife. In 2005, the Sydney native was named a Member of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his accomplishments as an actor and his support of a number of charities.
Lisa Banes’ performance as Bonnie, a sophisticated, wealthy older woman who Doug challenges Flanagan to seduce, was certainly memorable. And since 1988, Banes has appeared in movies like Young Guns, Dragonfly and Freedom Writers, but she’s also made appearances on well-known television shows including Six Feet Under and Desperate Housewives, not to mention a recurring role on USA’s Royal Pains as Ellen Collins.
Since playing Coughlin’s wealthy and promiscuous wife, Kelly Lynch starred in Drugstore Cowboy with Matt Dillon and has had supporting bits in films like Charlie’s Angels and The Jacket. She’s also had major roles on TV’s The L Word, the recent revival of 90210 and Magic City. You can catch her next in the upcoming film Glass Chin, about a former boxing champ who is framed for murder.
Mixing your cocktail