ST. ELMO’S FIRE

1 Stars
Year Released: 1985
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 108 minutes
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I’m a little obsessed with this movie. It may, in fact, be everything you need to know about the ’80s. Essentially, this is “The Breakfast Club Grow Up” minus writer-director John Hughes, plus writer director Joel Schumacher; not a good start. It is perhaps the defining moment of the Brat Pack Generation, in that anyone in this movie would forever be referred to as a Brat Pack member. “St. Elmo’s Fire” concerns seven Georgetown grads and their traumas joining the real world. This movie is dying for James Spader and some guns. Here’s an example of what kind of movie it is.
Andrew McCarthy plays a dour, constantly smoking, bongo-playing, coffin-owning writer in search of something meaningful to pen on, I’m not kidding, the meaning of life. McCarthy’s character pretends to hate the concept of love, all the while holding on to a secret adoration of his best friend Judd Nelson’s woman, Ally Sheedy. McCarthy spends the first half of the film trying to be clever and downbeat, all the while desperately assuring his friends and a local prostitute that he is not gay. When Nelson, the former President of the Young Democrats, decides Republicans pay better and is caught by his continual Bill Clinton-like devotion to strange women, Sheedy falls into McCarthy’s arms and they have passionate sex in the shower. The next day McCarthy’s treatise on the meaning of life is published on the front page of the Washington Post, which means essentially that the meaning of life is wild groping shower sex with Ally Sheedy — the movies most logical and unarguable point, and for my money, as good a definition as any.
Mare Winningham plays a rich, Jewish, social worker virgin with a weakness for Rob Lowe and the aching feeling that her thighs are fat. Lowe plays Billy, a rock star minus the catalog, who gets arrested for drunk driving and then heads out with his pals and orders a Screwdriver. When he heads back to Georgetown looking for a job, they assure him that his old fraternity really has lacked a good drug dealer since his graduation. They almost have sex at her parents dinner party, but Lowe can’t stop laughing at Winningham’s girdle long enough to get the damn thing unhooked.
Emilio Estevez is in this movie for some reason madly stalking Andie MacDowell, and Demi Moore, looking like a poodle in heat, has a drug problem that may or may not bring the group closer together and force them to re-evaluate their lives. She has a really cool pink apartment with a Billy Idol mural on the wall, and lots of money issues. The most logical argument in the movie is Nelson’s belief that if Sheedy would just marry him he would be able to stop screwing everything else in his path. MacDowell’s boyfriend is nice enough to Estevez that he snaps a photo of the two of them after the mad dog chases her up into the mountains and ruins their ski weekend. Sheedy doesn’t even take her pearls off for sex. Not much makes sense but there is a lot of smoking, drinking, and serious chat about ending up happy and self-reliant. After many a tragedy is narrowly averted, they decide to grow up and start attending a more mature bar. Rob Lowe’s sex tape had more depth. The movie going experience of the Reagan era.



Posted on December 27, 2000 in Reviews by
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