St Elmo’s Fire is a classic 80s teen film, incorporating the famous Brat Pack cast each with their separate issues. This film has stood the test of time in that it is still relevant today. As with The Breakfast Club the theme of this movie is friendship, and this idea carries the movie. The idea that your friends will be there for you no matter what. With that said here’s an introduction to the diverse group of friends:
Alec – From “Criminal” to “Savior” Judd Nelson now portrays a serious and hard-working college graduate whom his friends turn to for help in bad situations. He is not without his secrets; however, he is unable to be faithful to his longtime girlfriend and has many affairs, all the time using the fact that she won’t marry him as an excuse for his infidelity.
Leslie – Here we have our beloved “Basketcase” who is now a normal college graduate. She has been dating Alec throughout college, but is afraid to marry him. She’s right out of school, wants to find security in a job, and isn’t sure that she’s ready for the life-long commitment of marriage.
Kevin – This story line can be heard blaring out of a radio in the form of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”. Kevin is best friends with Alec and is in love with Leslie. The complications to this already messed up tale comes when Leslie finds out about Alec’s other love interests and has an affair with Kevin, which then Alec finds out about, and in the end she is unable to choose between them deciding to take time away for herself.
Jules – Demi Moore plays the gorgeous girl with a wild side. She is unable to cope with the world after college, looses her job, does coke, and entwines herself in a web of lies to keep up a strong image to her friends. She is afraid to let them know how much trouble she’s in, but after a breakdown is able to let them in and admit she needs to change her lifestyle.
Billy – With hard partying Jules a male counterpart is needed. Here Rob Lowe fits this category as the musician who is out for a good time and can’t keep a stable job. On top of this he has a wife whom he married after getting her pregnant, they both cheat on each other and know the relationship won’t work, but he can’t let her go. He doesn’t want to admit that he’s screwed up his life and needs to move on and make changes. He finally manages to grow up when he decides to let her go and realizes he can’t live in the past.
Wendy – To counteract the partiers we have Wendy. She’s from a rich family, conservative, still lives at home, and a virgin. She is in love with Billy, and is attracted to his carefree demeanor. As is foreshadowed many times, she looses her virginity to him. This occurs in the apartment she moves into and shows how she is growing up.
Kirby – Emilio Estevez here is not the cool “Jock” we saw before, but a bit of a geek who is in love with an older woman. She of course ends up having a boyfriend, but he gets up the confidence to kiss her which gives him the satisfaction he needs.
While not as good as The Breakfast Club I like this movie and believe in its message. It doesn’t pretend that life right out of school is easy, and shows that everyone will hit a bump or two. It also shows though, that it’s important to get back up, and to have good friends who will always be there for you when you need it most. As is stated on the front of the movie box, “You can always count on your friends. Don't ever let the fire go out.”