Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Cocktail movie

Cocktail is a lively and romantic comedy-drama film from 1988 that takes viewers on a spirited journey through the vibrant world of bartending and the complexities of love. The story revolves around Brian Flanagan, a charismatic and ambitious young man played by Tom Cruise, who dreams of making it big as a bartender in New York City.

As Brian embarks on his journey to success, he encounters Doug Coughlin, an experienced bartender portrayed by Bryan Brown, who becomes his mentor and introduces him to the art of mixology. Together, they create dazzling and eye-catching cocktails, capturing the attention of patrons and establishing their reputation as skilled bartenders.

Amidst the fast-paced nightlife of New York, Brian finds himself entangled in a complex love triangle involving two women: Jordan Mooney, a smart and ambitious artist played by Elisabeth Shue, and Bonnie, a kind-hearted college student portrayed by Lisa Banes. Brian’s relationships with these women, along with his bond with Doug, become central to the film’s emotional journey.

Cocktail is a film that explores themes of ambition, friendship, and the pursuit of love. It showcases the exhilarating energy of bartending, with Tom Cruise’s character performing impressive and acrobatic cocktail tricks, known as flair bartending, that captivate audiences.

The film’s soundtrack features catchy tunes, including The Beach Boys’ hit song “Kokomo,” which adds to the movie’s infectious energy and transports viewers to the carefree and tropical atmosphere of the film.

With its mix of comedy, drama, and romance, Cocktail provides a blend of entertainment and emotion. It delivers an engaging narrative set against the backdrop of the dynamic world of bartending, capturing the highs and lows of personal and professional relationships.

Cocktail is a nostalgic reminder of the vibrant ’80s era and has become a cult classic, celebrated for its charismatic performances, stylish visuals, and catchy soundtrack. It remains a beloved film that brings a taste of excitement and romance to the screen.

Fun Facts

  • The film showcases Tom Cruise’s flair for bartending, as he performs several impressive and flashy cocktail-making tricks throughout the movie.
  • The iconic quote “Cocktails and dreams” is often associated with the film. It has become a popular catchphrase and even inspired the title of a 2012 reality TV show called “Bar Rescue: The Dirty Truth.”
  • The movie’s soundtrack features the hit song “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became one of the band’s most successful singles.
  • “Cocktail” was a commercial success, grossing over $171 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million.
  • The bar scenes in the film were shot on location at various real-life bars in New York City, including the famous T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in Manhattan.
  • The film received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its entertainment value and chemistry between the lead actors, while others criticized its predictable plot.
  • “Cocktail” marked the first collaboration between Tom Cruise and actress Elisabeth Shue, who played the romantic interest of his character. They later reunited in the film “Adventures in Babysitting.”
  • The film’s success contributed to a rise in popularity of flair bartending, with aspiring bartenders attempting to emulate the impressive moves and tricks seen in the movie.
  • Despite mixed critical reception, “Cocktail” has gained a dedicated fan following over the years and is often regarded as a nostalgic ’80s film that captures the era’s style and charm.

Additional Details


  • Tom Cruise: Brian Flanagan
  • Bryan Brown: Doug Coughlin
  • Elisabeth Shue: Jordan Mooney
  • Lisa Banes: Bonnie
  • Laurence Luckinbill: Mr. Mooney
  • Kelly Lynch: Kerry Coughlin
  • Gina Gershon: Coral
  • Ron Dean: Uncle Pat
  • Ellen Foley: Eleanor


  • Director: Roger Donaldson
  • Producer: Ted Field and Robert Cort
  • Music: J Peter Robinson

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and