While having a little film fest over the past few days I have also been frantically applying for summer jobs. In Leicester, the only job on offer is bar work which I know for a fact I cannot do. I have the hand eye co-ordination of a seal and I drop things constantly. I also panic under pressure which results in me chain smoking and drinking the merchandise – this might be why bar work hasn’t ever worked out for me, but I’m just spit-balling.
This makes watching certain films a totally painful experience when I am faced with these Hollywood gospel truths:
1) People that work in bars are the slickest cats in town, and have better sex than me on a nightly basis.
2) They are questioning direction in life, but bar work is the magic key to all their problems.
3) They fall madly in love with the person of their dreams and everything works out.
4) The only downside is that something goes terribly wrong, but they soon forget about it and carry on pulling pints like they are Justin Timberlake.
5) Working in a bar means that you are tough.
This is funny because a lot of my friends work in bars and they seem to be miserable as fuck when I roll in wasted at 1AM to have them fuel my good time, but I think it’s all a conspiracy to keep me from the Hollywood fantasy life that I can never have. I like to think I have really thoughtful friends…
This brings me onto the film that started me thinking about the glamorous life of bartending according to Hollywood (with just a tinge of knocking someone up, shotgun weddings and suicide).
Cocktail is the bar tenders diary of how to be the most sensational behind-the-bar personality. Tom Cruise stars as Brian Flanagan who is trying to score a job in business after serving in the U.S Army, but as most people learn: you need experience to get a job. After a hard day of rejection, Flanagan stumbles across a ‘help wanted’ sign in a dodgy looking bar and desperation sets in.
He is greeted by a rough looking, Bryan Brown who plays, Doug Coughlin and embodies everything about Hollywood’s interpretation of bar work in the 80’s. With his unyielding Australian charm he makes a few witty remarks and cracks an egg into his beer before drinking it down in one. It’s almost like how tough guys flick their cigarettes in slow motion as they enter a room, another Hollywood myth that I tried once and ended up dropping my fag end into my own pint. I know people can flick their cigarettes but apparently I’m so awkward and uncoordinated I was destined to be the Crispin Glover of cool town.
Naturally Flanagan ends up being some drink pouring genius and they end up rolling in kudos points and cocktail waitresses vagina’s, they live the sleep all day, party all night dream that us dyspraxic’s can only drop on the floor.
‘Coughlin’s Law; Anything else is always something better.’
‘Coughlin’s law: never tell tales about a woman. No matter how far away she is, she’ll always hear you.’
‘Coughlin’s Law; Bury the dead, they stink up the place.’
‘Coughlin’s diet: cocktails and dreams.’
‘Coughlin’s Law: Never show surprise, never lose your cool.’
‘I don’t care how liberated this world becomes – a man will always be judged by the amount of alcohol he can consume – and a woman will be impressed, whether she likes it or not.’
‘However, falling down the stairs is allowed!’
‘As for the rest of Coughlin’s Laws, ignore them. The guy was always full of shit.‘
Wow, who doesn’t want to be as cool as this guy? He even admits to giving the waitresses crabs and you still respect him. Not to mention his name is, Doug. He struts around this film like John Travolta’s bad-ass drunk cousin, dishing out advice that he just made up in booze fueled philosophy rant and is potentially once of the best bosses in any film because he lets you drink on the job. This whole bar work stuff is looking mighty fine to me. Let’s continue on, shall we?
Coughlin becomes a little less cool in Flanagan’s eyes when they eventually climb out of the gutter and into the tackiest bar in town ‘The Cell Block’ – I would like to add that this place has got 50 million floors and only one bar, yet everyone seems to have a drink and there’s no squabbling to get to the bar. In Leicester, you have a club with 4 rooms and about 7 bars with at least 4 people serving and I still have to punch my way through just to lean on the bar which I KNOW is going to cover my arms in sticky residue but I do it every time. Thus further proving I am the Crispin Glover of night life. It is here that Flanagan meets this little wench…
I don’t know why they ruined a perfectly good friendship over her, she looks like her teeth saw her face and tried to run away. Cocky Coughlin bets Flanagan that she will be in bed with another man by the end of the week and then proceeds to goose the shit out of her to prove a point, now, although this is a slightly twat move on his part I would like to defend him. Any man who puts an egg in his beer and has it for breakfast isn’t going to be a loyal friend, and any man who made up his own set of life laws and runs a bar isn’t going to care if you have a problem. If that happened to me I would have given him a high five to his face to teach him a lesson and then made a peace offering of half a dozen eggs – but that’s just how bar work rolls.
He then goes away to Jamaica to make his fortune hossing glasses around the place and making a ridiculous amount of cocktails, at this point in the film you don’t know if you want to punch him in the face or be just like him. Mine was a bit of both, but I want to be that cool bartender that throws drinks around without spilling them all over my hair,or having the ability to set the Sambuca on fire, rather than my sleeve.
As always I wont ruin the main plot of the film, but I guess that I didn’t want to be in Flanagan’s shoes when he pissed of Elisabeth Shue, because then she stamps all over his glass throwing ability and does this to his ego. Poor Flanagan.
Firstly I would like to point out that the tagline for this film is: ‘The Dancing’s Over. Now It Gets Dirty‘ so I had no complaints about watching this and drooling with cheap appreciation. It’s just a shame that Patrick Swayze doesn’t look like any less of a twat when he’s trying to be tough and roundhouse kicking people in the face – use the picture for reference.
Roadhouse is Swayze playing a hard as nails bar cooler called Dalton, who has a strange celebrity status in every bar he goes to. He is pulled away from New York to work for a bar called ‘The Double Deuce’ which is a real shit hole, he fires quite a few of the bouncers for dealing drugs and having sex on their break and acts just like Johnny Castle but ends up knobbing his of age doctor, rather than an underage girl.
While he’s trying to clean up the bad rep of the bar, he runs into conflict with the lamest bad guy, Brad Wesley, who dresses like he’s just got out of Cuba.
This guy is able to blow up someones shop, murder people on a regular basis and drive a monster truck through a shop in front of the whole town and not get convicted because he pays off the sheriff – seems legit. Luckily cool bar work is there to save the day and Dalton is ripping peoples throats out with his bare hands. The reason bar work seems so cool in this instance is because Swayze stands around looking as tough as he can with his cherub face and smoothly combed hair, and when the shit goes down he starts breaking people’s knees and throwing them out the bar. I’ve never seen a bouncer break someone’s knee before but apparently when you’re a bar cooler for The Double Deuce that’s part of the in house training that they provide.
In an attempt to show off his power, Wesley makes his fun bag get on stage and completely strip off while his henchmen and other casual drinkers look on in wonder. I have no idea why this scene happens or why that shows how tough he is, it isn’t like he payed her for it…
Ice cold Dalton just stands by the stage looking up at this woman’s gyrating tits and calmly lifts her off the stage without getting a semi or going red, now that’s cool. In response to this Wesley get’s his homoerotic henchman to fight Dalton, he later explains that he used to ‘fuck guys like you in prison’ and repeatedly tells Dalton that he owns his ass.
Dalton uses his SIA doorman training knowledge to diffuse this problem, he strips to the waist in a picturesque remote location to have a violent cock fight with this savage rapist. Once he’s kicked him in the face enough he rips his throat out with his hands and chucks him in the river, falls to his knees and shouts ‘AUUUGHHH’. When I’m drunk I sometimes give bouncers a hard time, but now I think I will give them more respect and not threaten them with anal rape because they might brutally murder me. I wouldn’t mind getting some doorman training now, although the little armband I.D card might halt the cool factor I would automatically be able to kill drunk people and put an end to naked slut behavior in pubs.
Here’s a picture of Dalton caving a man’s face in who tried to destroy their liquor.
My point here is that: If you work in a bar in Hollywood, you are a fucking legend. I will however remain the nerdiest, clumsiest person in the world.
You’re all thinking: ‘What about Coyote Ugly?’ and my response to that is, there isn’t anything cool about soaking the inspector in water, and there’s nothing cool about being a giant cock tease. If you’re going to dance around on a bar, pouring alcohol into peoples mouths you should at the very least flash a bit of nipple. And roadhouse delivers.