St. Elmo’s Fire
In February 1985, we all watched as Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Emilio Estevez spent a day in detention at Shermer High School in The Breakfast Club. Then just five short months later, they had all miraculously graduated from Georgetown University and were now spending their downtime at a little dive called St. Elmo’s.
My, how time flies.
St. Elmo’s Fire hit theaters in late June of ’85, only a few week’s after David Blum’s now-infamous New York Magazine article that officially christened the group “The Brat Pack”. Emilio, Judd, Rob, Andrew, Ally, and Demi (and, sure, you can count Mare, too, we suppose) were six (well, 7) actors at the height of their popularity.
The story of the post-grad lives of seven DCers, St. Elmo’s Fire was as angst-filled, dark, and depressing (though somehow, still awesome) as they come. We can’t be positive, but we’re pretty sure the only person to smile in the entire film is Kirbo (Emilio), right after his slope-side ambush-kiss of Dale Biberman (Andie MacDowell).
Drugs, drinking, sex, infidelity, rage, and sax-playing all take center stage in Joel Schumacher’s film. (No… no, this wasn’t John Hughes.) Alec (Judd) wants Leslie (Ally) to marry him, but he’s screwing everything with two legs. Kevin (Andrew) meanwhile is in love with Leslie, even though everyone thinks he’s gay. Jules (Demi) is racking up more debt and cocaine than is humanly possible, and we’re also treated to the most ill-suited couple in cinematic history, Billy and Wendy (Rob and Mare).
Yep, St. Elmo’s Fire had a lot going for it, but the best part for us will always be the classic, 80s-riffic soundtrack, with John Parr’s “Man in Motion” and David Foster’s so-sappy-it’s-not love theme leading the way.
From the conversations at the Fluff-and-Fold to the giant Billy Idol head stenciled on Jules’ apartment wall, St. Elmo’s Fire is a movie that has lived on as a true 80s classic, simply because we could relate. As Billy (Rob’s character, not Mr. Idol) put it best, “We’re all going through this. It’s our time at the edge.” Indeed.
We ♥ St. Elmo’s Fire.