St Elmo's Fire review
I watched the best film tonight. St Elmo’s Fire. It is billed as “A Group of Friends just out of college struggle with adulthood. Their main problem is they are all self-centred and obnoxious”. Most of them are also in love with unattainable people and clinging to their college days when they clearly defined roles (the Frat boy, the party girl etc).
Basically they are all part of the “Me generation” and only care about instant gratification and personal advancement; loose in morals. It is hard to feel much sympathy for them but at the same time you are left thinking perhaps it isn’t their own fault they turned out that way, perhaps it is a fault of society.
You see all the cliched problems: drug addiction, unrequited love, debt, the pressure to succeed, promiscuity, and just a lack of moral fibre which are just as relevant today as then.
The question the film asks is are these problems indeed real or just St elmo’s fire….a natural part of growing up and something we all deal with.
I won’t ruin the plot too much! But I will outline some of the characters:
Billy is the frat boy who cannot hold down a job and is a bad father and husband and is only good at playing the saxophone and getting girls into bed.
Wendy is the least selfish character and devotes her life to helping people but harbours a crush on Billy.
Kirby is a sensitive and slightly unstable guy who develops an obsession with a pretty older nurse and is probably the most lovable stalker there is.
Jules is a slutty party girl who sleeps with her married boss to support her drug habit.
Alec is an yuppie wannabe politician who is desperate to get married to his girlfriend but has no intention of giving up his womanising.
Leslie is Alec’s girlfriend who is reluctant to marry Alec.
Kevin is a depressed writer who is secretely in love with Leslie.
Basically they all have their own trials and tribulations and some of them grow up and others do not. The subplots eventually collide leading to a grand finale. All the while they remain friends but eventually drift apart.
Some nice quotes
“They thought they could be friends forever but forever does not last”
“There are several quintessential moments in a man’s life: losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.”
“You know what love is? Love is an illusion created by lawyer types like yourself to perpetuate another illusion called marriage to create the reality of divorce and then the illusionary need for divorce lawyers.”
“It’s St. Elmo’s Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them… there was no fire. There wasn’t even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you’re making up all of this. We’re all going through this. It’s our time at the edge.”
The basic point is that none of these kids really have any problems other than those they create for themselve