This is one of those guilty pleasure movies. It’s bad and you’re not sure why you like it–but maybe that means you could call it somewhat good. I dunno. The downfall is in the direction and the script. Many of the scenarios seem ridiculous and odd. Like, how does he go from not knowing what’s in a martini to perfecting the skill of bar tending within what seems to be all of 2 days. But that’s what the norm is in this film–everything is too rushed. It could’ve actually used some more scenes in my opinion–especially towards the beginning–so that we feel as though we are actually on the journey with Tom Cruise’s character, Brian (although most would probably say that it’s 103 minutes too long to begin with). The depth we see in Bryan Brown’s character, Doug, is actually the most intriguing aspect of the script. Other than that, the characters are paper thin. Brian is so hard to tack down that it’s almost annoying, and there’s no background on him at all so it’s not like you can deduce much. None of his actions fall in line with the actions that he makes prior to that and vice-versa. It also doesn’t make much sense why Brian would be best friends with the biggest backstabbing douche in the world (Doug) and value his friendship as much as he does.
The acting isn’t bad–just very poorly directed. Cruise smiles at all the wrong times and it makes you want to slap him constantly. Some of his ad libs that they kept in the film are painful as well. Elisabeth Shue has so much potential that if she was paired with even a decent director, she would have shined very bright in this one.
This film has a killer soundtrack, fun banter between the characters, and enough one-liners to last me a whole night at my highschool reunion, but the rest of the script that is supposed to be substantial is just laughable.
It’s nothing too original as far as the story goes, but with a better script this film could’ve really been something other than just a guilty pleasure and a motivational tape for someone wanting to start his or her own bar. I’m gonna get shot, but I honestly think that it has the potential to be like a Wolf of Wall Street with the result being closer to a Johnny Be Good. Maybe they should remake this film.
Nevertheless, I would watch this film again next week.
Twizard Rating: 76