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Seven friends - Alec, Billy, Jules, Kevin, Kirby, Leslie and Wendy - are trying to navigate through life and their friendships following college graduation. Alec, who aspires to political life, has just shown his true colors by changing his allegiance from Democrat to Republican, which freaks out girlfriend Leslie, who he wants to marry. Budding architect Leslie, on the other hand, has an independent streak. She believes she has to make a name for herself to find out who she is before she can truly commit to another person in marriage. But Leslie and Alec have decided to live together. Because Leslie refuses to marry Alec, he believes that justifies certain behavior. Kirby, who wants to become a lawyer and who pays for his schooling by working as a waiter at their local hangout called St. Elmo's Bar, and struggling writer Kevin are currently roommates. They are on opposite extremes of the romance spectrum. Kirby has just reconnected with Dale Biberman, a slightly older woman he knew ... Written by
'St. Elmo's Fire' looks at life after college of seven best friends. Even though I didn't go to college in the 80s, the movie brought a lot of memories and I can still relate to many of the conflicts the characters experience. I don't understand why so many people disliked it. It's very much a character driven piece and while many argue that the they are self-absorbed but who isn't at least a little self-absorbed at that age? These characters are trying to find themselves in the 'new' real world of grown-ups. All seven friends are of distinct personalities and even though they are a little clichéd, they remain real and are well played. The friends include:
-Kirby (Emilio Estevez) who is so desperately 'in love' with a past love that he even changes himself to win her heart.
-Billy (Rob Lowe) who is talented, unstable and unpredictable -Kevin (Andrew McCarty) who is following a love that is with someone else.
-Jules (Demi Moore) who is the self-destructive flirtatious one striving to protect her outer image while she destroys herself internally.
-Alec (Judd Nelson) who is climbing the ladders of success and screwing 'nameless' and 'faceless' chicks while still desperate to marry his girlfriend to make his life perfect.
-Leslie (Ally Sheedy) is the girlfriend who wants to have a career of her own before settling down for marriage bliss.
-Wendy (Mare Winningham) who is the most selfless one, a frustrated virgin who is striving for independence and love.
The actors are brilliantly cast as they fit the parts physically (the right age and looks) and deliver sincere performances. I won't single anyone out as I thought they all did excellent. The supporting cast does not have much scope except for Andie McDowell (who is quite bad).
The 80s were known to be a wild and reckless decade for the young ones where it was all about rock and roll, big hair and felt-tips. Foster's soundtrack wonderfully adds to that nostalgic feel of that decade.
Through their lives, Schumacher presents different themes such as drugs, alcohol, sex, loyalty, etc. It sounds like just another one of 'those' movies but here it is dealt with in a very real and easily relatable way rather than being overdone. Everyone will recognize at least a couple of the conflicts the characters face. I loved the way it ended. There is no definitive conclusion. Instead, what is shown is that the characters are aware that now it is time to grow up and to build their own lives while an uncertain future awaits. It's a great movie.
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