Friday, March 05, 2010
St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
St. Elmo’s Fire follows a group of recent college graduates struggling to come to terms with their newfound adulthood. The movie has a fairly well-known cast, including Emilio Estevez (Kirby), Rob Lowe (Billy), and Demi Moore (Jules). A definite drama, all of the characters are running around looking for direction throughout the whole film, until ultimately Billy consoles Jules (and consequently everyone else) with the revelation that “we’re all goingthrough this.” Knowing that they are not alone seems to give the characters some balance.
The movie is quintessentially 80s. From the feathered hair and layered clothes to the female struggling to become a true “working woman,” St. Elmo’s Fire reeks of the 80s (not to mention the fact that the movie brings the Brat Pack together again). It’s a pretty dated film, but not so much that viewers are unable to relate to the characters and their situations. At its core, the movie is about a group of friends trying to live life as people for the first time; not as students, and for some, not as a couple, not as an addict, not as a virgin. It’s The Breakfast Club five years later, even if both films were released in 1985.
I enjoyed the film, but nowhere near as much as I thought I would. The acting is great, sure. But on some level I do find it difficult to relate to seven Yuppie-ish college graduates trying to find themselves in the real world, especially when the characters are a bit one-dimensional (they are essentially defined by the problems they are facing). The best thing about this movie is the mise-en-scene, and I appreciated all of the set details.
Despite any of the movie’s snags, it is cool to see actors from The Breakfast Club together in a more serious film, and I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of the Brat Pack and other ultra-80s films. Anyone who is aching to compare the movie to the TV series ABC won in a bidding war might be interested in it as well. It might also be cool to watch the movie as a recent college graduate and to see if the dilemmas in the film are relatable in any way.