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 in love with Felicia (Jenny Wright), while Billy Hicks (Rob Lowe, pictured at right) is a no-good loser rock musician married to a girl he made pregnant but doesn’t love.
Social-climbing philanderer Alec (Judd Nelson) works for a senator on Capitol Hill and is having a relationship with painter girlfriend-roommate Leslie (Ally Sheedy).
Wendy Beamish (Mare Winningham) is a social worker virgin burdened with over-bearing parents (she’s the daughter of a rich greeting-card tycoon) and is in love with Billy.
Meanwhile, Jules (Demi Moore) is a cocaine-snorting high flyer who is attracted to gang rapes and suicide attempts, and Kevin Dolenz (Andrew McCarthy) is a single, unattached obituary writer who hankers for bigger and better things.
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