St Elmo’s Fire (1985) Directed by Joel Schumacher. With Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Mare Winningham.
While maybe not the overall pick of the bunch, St Elmo’s Fire is nevertheless one of the definitive ‘brat pack’ movies of the 1980’s. With a pack of young stars and a pop-rock title track by Doncaster’s very own John Parr, the film is a living breathing embodiment of its era, complete with soap opera storylines and terrible hairstyles.
Released in 1985 and directed by Joel Schumacher, Elmo’s is most likely an easier watch with a bit of nostalgia on its side. The film centres of six young people and their various woes of love, unemployment, insecurity, addiction and status. Of course, with so many characters fighting for attention, some things get crowded out, and it is perhaps the love triangle of Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy that resonates the most. Indeed, despite their own intermingling drama, the rest of the cast (save for Rob Lowe’s sax playing alcoholic) seem somewhat peripheral in the final cut.
Despite an uneven balance of characters, the film is essentially about leaving the relatively carefree college years behind and stepping out into the big bad world. It’s about facing up to responsibilities, it’s about the end of the party. Considering how cosily optimistic a lot of the ’80’s fare can now seem, it actually manages to be a borderline depressing comment on losing youth. Perhaps it deserves more credit for at least attempting to be more honest than many of its peers, but come the final credits there’s not enough to reflect upon. 2.5/5