There's a scene in this movie where someone refers to Donald Trump like he isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to America. What a difference 30 years and a Russian conspiracy against Hillary Clinton makes.
1. Brian Flanagan arrives in Manhattan from an army stint somewhere freezing. The first thing he sees is someone picking up their dog's poop, in order to dispose of it in a neighborly manner. Brian smirks, amused that other people would stoop so low. Brian Flanagan, we know immediately, is a dickbag.
2. Brian is serving “flat beer from rusty pipes” at his Uncle Pat’s bar in Queens. “What are you going to do now?” asks a patron. “Make a million,” says Brian.
Brian is an idiot.
3. “I’m not falling into that trap,” Brian says about having a family one day. 20 bucks says that this movie will end with Brian having a family some day.
4. Brian is trying to get a job on Wall Street. He’s doing this via the medium of poofy hair, the kind of white, male entitlement that makes women like me get stabby, and, most importantly, crazy Andrew McCarthy eyes. See?
5. No one on Wall Street will hire Brian. Hurray!
6. On his way home from Wall Street, Brian sees a Help Wanted sign in the window of Doug Coughlin’s bar on the Upper East Side. Not to pick geographical holes, but THE UPPER EAST SIDE IS ABOUT 8 MILES IN THE POLAR OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF WALL STREET IF YOU'RE TRYING TO GET BACK TO QUEENS.
Brian Flanagan doesn't understand basic geography, everyone.
7. Doug is Australian and talks in riddles. He drinks raw eggs in his beer. Doug is fucking insufferable. Just look at his fuckin' face:
8. Brian is bad at bartending. The director tries to convey this by tilting the camera to one side and doing fish eye lens shots of people screaming drink requests at Brian.
Elements of this film have not aged well.
9. At the end of his shift, Doug tells Brian he’s giving him a job. “But the waitresses hate me,” says Brian. “You wait 'til you’ve given them crabs," Doug says. "Then you’ll really know hate.” Wait… WHAT?? (Also, it’s a side note, but do people still get crabs? Or did that STD get eradicated during the great pubic hair removal of 2002 - 2015?)
10. Brian’s rapid improvements behind the bar are symbolized by him flinging bottles around and dancing with Doug. There is high-fiving and a whiff of homoerotica involved.
11. “You get the women, you get the bucks," Doug says. "And, boy oh boy, you’ve got them. Buttons were popping, skirts were rising. When you can see the color of their panties, then you know you’ve got talent.” Doug Coughlin is probably a sex offender.
12. “Beer is for breakfast around here. Drink or be gone,” Doug says, forcing a whiskey into Brian’s hand. Doug Coughlin is probably a sociopath.
13. There now follows a scene in which the entire bar is so obsessed with Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”, Doug turns the stereo down at opportune moments so all these people in suits with gold buttons, and ladies in very large green sweaters, can scream the refrain “ADDICTED TO LOVE!” at each other. For the sake of my faith in humanity, I want to believe this never, ever happened in the history of the world, but I also remember 1988, and there is a sinking part inside my soul that tells me this was probably a nightly event in bars across America for at least 3 months. [The following video is in Spanish and much improved for it.]
14. Brian refers to a female patron as “Serious Fuck Me Eyes.” Oh good. Now Brian is a sociopath too! On the plus side, maybe they’ll give him a job on Wall Street now?
15. Brian is in a community college class during the day. After an assignment to come up with a business plan, his teacher berates a mature student in front of the entire class with the phrase: “Mrs. Riftkin has spent the last 20 years burning her husband’s dinners, but now decides she wants to become the Donald Trump of the cookie business.” Dude. There is so much to unpack in that sentence, part of my brain just folded in on itself and did something only Stephen Hawking could describe.
16. “You can stand in this bar and get struck by lightening,” Doug tells Brian. Those seem like crazy unsafe working conditions, Doug. I hope you’ve got insurance, Doug. This is America, Doug.
17. Brian and Doug sing at each other a lot at work, then they do it again on the way home. If this movie were way less heteronormative, this would be the beginning of a romantic comedy.
18. “Men will always be judged on the amount of liquor they can consume, and women will be impressed, whether they like it or not.” At this point, I am legit terrified of Doug.
19. Tom Cruise is really, really bad at acting drunk. Probably because Tom Cruise has never, ever been drunk in his life. On account of all the Scientology, see. #BoozeFreeForXenu
20. Tom Cruise’s hair is getting progressively weirder as this movie goes on.
21. Holy shit, we’re 26 minutes in, and an exterior shot of the bar has just revealed that it’s a fucking TGI FRIDAY’S. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. A TGI FRIDAYS! ALL OF THIS SEX TALK AND ROBERT PALMER-RELATED THRUSTING IS HAPPENING IN A FUCKING FRIDAY’S! So yeah. This is basically the end of the movie for me.
22. In addition to singing to each other almost constantly, Brian and Doug are now doing actual dance routines. This was never, ever sexy to women, I promise.
23. A patron at the bar asks Brian and Doug to go and work at Cell Block - a massive, pretentious, blue club, which is packed full of people despite the fact that the music keeps stopping for sporadic bouts of TERRIBLE spoken word outbursts.
Worst. Club. Ever.
24. Gina Gershon is a photographer who orders “The Orgasm” from Brian. Go home, Gina Gershon. You’re better than this, Gina Gershon.
25. Gina Gershon does go home. Unfortunately, Brian accompanies her. Together they have the weirdest sex committed to camera since this happened in Showgirls:
26. Doug sure does wear a lot of cardigans.
27. Brian approaches Doug with the idea of opening their own bar in Jamaica. To illustrate this, he unrolls a large poster of a large-breasted, headless woman wearing a wet T-shirt with the word JAMAICA on it. Then he does a really offensive accent and it goes on for an uncomfortably long time.
28. Brian tells Doug that Gina Gershon (who’s name is Coral) owns a brownstone on 76th St. Doug says that Coral must be secretly married and that she’s “gonna do a number on you, mate.” Because women can never own anything without a man being involved.
Then he says “50 bucks says she’ll be sleeping with another guy by the end of the week.”
29. Coral and Doug openly make out with each other in front of Brian. Then Doug tells Brian it doesn’t matter because she’s just a whore who slept with Brian on the first date. Doug is definitely a sociopath.
30. Turns out, music shuts off on all four levels of the Cell Block club for both slam poetry and also that thing when one man punches another man. Is the DJ omnipotent? How does (s)he know?
31. Brian is in Jamaica now. To indicate this, 1988 hit "Kokomo" is playing. Did you, like me, forget that "Kokomo" is a FUCKING BEACH BOYS SONG? Yeah. Horrifying, isn't it?
If it was up to me, this steaming reminder of what happens when bands keep going past their sell by date, would be called "Please Retire Now, Brian Wilson".
32. Elizabeth Shue (Jordan) runs to the bar one afternoon and says one of her friends has passed out on the beach from drinking champagne and no water all day. Brian leaps over the bar, runs along the beach, touches the girl’s forehead and says she’s going to be fine.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A DOCTOR, BRIAN? YOU DROPPED OUT OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE, BRIAN.
33. A black man walks over and says “Hey Brian, I need to go, mon.” Then “Don’t Worry Be Happy” starts playing. I want to die.
34. Jordan goes back to the bar and turns down a "rum special" and opts for a beer instead. This means she is down to earth and good and special. "My kind of girl," Brian says. IF YOU DON'T LIKE BEER, YOU ARE A BITCH.
35. Doug the sociopath shows up and conducts exposition dialog to let us know it has been 2 years since The Gina Gershon Incident. Then he does more riddles and I want to stab him in the eye and he is on his honeymoon with a rich lady in a thong with a perfect body. Why would a woman like that ever marry a bozo like him?
36. “I have never seen a club with these intense dance vibes,” Doug’s wife says with a straight face. Marriage explained, everyone!
37. Oh good. A Brian and Jordan Do Jamaica montage! There are horse rides on the beach, and bus rides in the square, and Jeep rides in the driveway. Sadly, we are offered no conclusive answers about which form of Jamaican transport Brian and Jordan like best.
38. Brian and Jordan hump under a waterfall in broad daylight. Then they do it on a beach next to a fire. It’s movie scenes like this that get tourists in Dubai arrested.
39. “Our kids would look really great in dreadlocks,” Jordan tells Brian. In 1988, the white people dreadlocks memo hadn’t been passed around yet. (See also: present day Burning Man.)
40. “This man is phenomenal,” Doug tells bar patrons about Brian. “Put him in a room with dozens of women and he’ll go for the poorest and the dumbest every single time.” Doug definitely needs to be in prison.
41. Doug bets Brian $50 he can’t pick up some rich lady at the bar. Brian succeeds of course. Jordan sees and cries on the beach, then immediately flies home. SOMEONE LEGIT NEEDS TO END DOUG.
42. Brian goes back to NYC with rich lady and - GAHD! - has to deal with her doing aerobics every morning and taking him to fancy parties where he gets punched by sculptors. Brian needs to go back to Jamaica. Mon.
43. Brian shows up at the diner Jordan works at. “Your sexy little smile is not going to work this time,” she says. What about his Andrew McCarthy crazy eyes? Because he’s been doing those for HOURS.
44. Jordan tells Brian she’s pregnant. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! When I was 13, someone definitely told me that you couldn’t get pregnant in a waterfall!
Here's Tom Cruise not understanding the concept of pulling out:
45. Jordan’s decision to keep the fetus makes a lot more sense as we find out her parents are 67th and Park Avenue levels of rich. Brian shows up to the penthouse unannounced and has a casual convo with her dad that results in Papa Bear trying to pay Brian off with $10,000 to go away. “I deserve a second chance!” Brian yells. Well… not really, mate. You sacrificed a good relationship and humped a woman you're not really interested in, all for $50.
46. Brian shows up at Doug’s wife’s extraordinarily smoky bar (HOW DID EVERYONE LIVE LIKE THIS FOR SO LONG?), where she openly kisses other men. Doug takes Brian to his tiny yacht to talk, and they drink fancy brandy and throw around big yellow binoculars.
“My ship is going down and I’m going down with it," Doug says. "I’m on my arse. I haven’t got a pot to piss in.” Karma's a bitch, Doug.
47. This bit, where Doug’s wife tries to bone Brian is pointless and useless and totally gratuitous. *yawn*
48. Brian makes out with Doug's wife, then acts like he's a good guy for leaving. He rolls back to the tiny yacht to check on Doug. Brian finds Doug in a massive pool of blood and broken glass, so promptly sticks his hands in it all.
IT IS MASSIVELY UNCLEAR HOW DOUG DIED.
49. In a suicide note to Brian, Doug declares that he was “always full of shit.”
YEAH, DOUG. WE KNOW, DOUG. THIS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT, DOUG.
50. Brian rolls up to Jordan’s penthouse and tells her he’s been saving money and is going to take out a loan to open a bar. “I love you,” he says, “I’ve loved you from the first moment I saw you. Come with me!” Dude. Grief makes people nuts, Jordan. You stay in that penthouse with your dad who is in no way judging you for getting knocked up by a bartender in Jamaica. Don’t you know how lucky you are? My dad would frickin’ MURDER me under the same circumstances, and my mum would have to run interference for, like, 3 years. I'm not kidding. STAY WHERE YOU ARE, JORDAN.
51. After a brief, butler-related fracas, Jordan leaves with Brian. (Ugh.)
“You’re on your own!” her dad yells.
“That's just the way I like it,” Brian replies.
HE WASN’T TALKING TO YOU, SHITHEAD.
Fuckin' straight white dudes, amiright?
52. Brian and Jordan have a wedding reception at Uncle Pat’s bar in Queens. Jordan doesn't mind because being poor is a novelty to her at this point.
52. 6 months of pregnancy belly later, Brian’s opened a bar called "COCKTAILS AND DREAMS" (just like Doug the unimaginative sociopath wanted.) Brian stands on top of the bar and does some slam poetry like they taught him at the Cell Block. Then Jordan says she’s having twins and everyone cheers.