Post-collegiate angst, ‘80s style, is the subject of this coming-of-age ensemble piece, which traces the fortunes of a group of Georgetown grads as they enter the real world and grapple with work, infidelity, and adulthood. The most outwardly upscale member of the gang, Jules (Demi Moore), hides a plethora of emotional baggage behind a chic wardrobe, an expensive apartment, a fashionable drug habit, and lots of meaningless casual sex. Her friend Wendy (Mare Winningham) has the opposite problem; a trust-fund baby with body-image issues and little sexual experience, she’s hung up on Billy (Rob Lowe), a no-good, sax-playing drunkard who can’t face up to his responsibilities in the job market or at home with his wife and young child. Such open infidelity is anathema to Alex (Judd Nelson), who must maintain a sense of propriety even while engaging in compulsive womanizing; after all, the Democrat-turned-Republican’s nascent political career requires the sort of picture-perfect relationship he shares with girlfriend Leslie (Ally Sheedy). That doesn’t sit too well with tortured writer Kevin (Andrew McCarthy), who toils away at a newspaper job and pines away for the unattainable Leslie. Unrequited love also dogs Kirby (Emilio Estevez), a law-school student whose greatest wish is to romance classy doctor Dale Biberman (Andie MacDowell), who is, alas, way out of his league. Co-written by director Joel Schumacher and his studio intern, Carl Kurlander, St. Elmo’s Fire spawned the number one pop hit “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion),” which was credited to John Parr but co-written by music producer David Foster. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide
Using his past experience as a window display artist and costume designer, director J l Schumacher developed into a purveyor of slickly produced film entertainment that was more often than not a triumph of style over substance. He was also one of the few directors with an uncanny knack for discovering and casting unknown actors who would later become stars, including Corey Haim, Colin Farrell, Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey to name a few. After helming such forgettable movies as “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (1981) and “D.C. Cab” (1983), Schumacher scored his first financial hit with the Brat Pack-led “St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985). But it was the lasting success of the iconic horror comedy “The Lost Boys” (1987), which made stars out of the “two Coreys” and Kiefer Sutherland while earning new generations of fans over time, that put him on the map for posterity. Following the underwhelming “Flatliners” (1990), Schumacher directed perhaps his most compelling movie, the vigilante… read more
Demi Moore plays one of the most over-the-top characters ever, either croaking about her dying "step-monster" in every scene, or saying some of the most asinine things not even the most moronic Real Housewife would say. It was hard to take anything in this film seriously. Andrew McCarthy was pretty good though.
After seeing the "Breakfast Club" I was anxious to see more from the era and from the brat-pack. When I stumbled upon this I was happy to be greeted by the "pack" once again, but sadly in much less than what the "Breakfast Club' was. The flow of the story was messy and it was hard to be drawn to any one character's side in the battle for independence. Good reunion, but sad entry into the pack's collection.
A great movie! What happens to "Breakfast Club" archetypes when they graduate and have to get real jobs? How do you move ahead in a life that sometimes seems terrifying in it's uncertainty? Terrific cast and some very real moments. Plus a lot of 80's polish, like Rob Lowe's super sweet saxophone solo. I feel like this is one of the decade's overlooked gems.
Not a good movie, but an entertaining one, and it bears noting that Kevin is me. Just straight up me. Joel Schumacher went to the future and tracked my life and was like "I want to make this guy a character in a movie, which I will go back to the '80s to make," and then he did that. Seems like a convoluted way to write a character but we cannot attempt to comprehend the workings of the mind behind "Batman and Robin."