A glossy, vacuous offering from director John Schumacher (who also wrote the screenplay with Carl Kurlander), St Elmo’s Fire was a group drama that followed the comings and goings of a batch of graduates from Georgetown University.
The film served only one purpose – To showcase some of the up-and-coming young stars of the Brat Pack: Kirby Keger (Emilio Estevez) is a law student and part-time waiter at the gang’s favourite bar, St Elmo’s.
Billy Hicks (Rob Lowe, pictured below right) is a no-good boozing womanising musician who is married to Felicia (Jenny Wright) – a girl he made pregnant but doesn’t love.
Wendy Beamish (Mare Winningham) is a social worker virgin burdened with over-bearing parents (she’s the daughter of a rich greeting-card tycoon) who is in love with Billy.
Social-climbing philanderer Alec (Judd Nelson) is a Capitol Hill aide – who switches from Democrat to Republican because of the higher pay scale – and is having a relationship with painter girlfriend-roommate Leslie (Ally Sheedy), who has a fear of marriage.
Kevin Dolenz (Andrew McCarthy) is an unattached obituary writer who hankers for bigger and better things and has ambiguous sexual feelings toward Alec and Leslie.
Meanwhile, Jules (Demi Moore) is a cocaine-snorting high flyer who is attracted to gang rapes and suicide attempts She is a frequent catalyst in the group’s ever-changing chemistry.
Their individual stories were inter-cut in annoying fragments to little purpose thanks to the feebleness of both script and direction. However, the film found its audience and grossed $37.8 million at the box office.
The movie is exhausting and pointless. Struggling vainly to jazz up a wooden film that stubbornly refuses to come to life, these seven “Brat Pack” members make lively, heroic paramedics, but their patient was dead on arrival.
Joyce Van Patten