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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Retro Flashback: St. Elmo's Fire

That was just passion burning? Thank God, I thought I had to go the free clinic.

St. Elmo's Fire did the impossible, it ended the reign of the Brat Pack forever. Perhaps we weren't ready to accept our teen idols as grownups. Perhaps we weren't ready to accept John Bender as a yuppie Republican. Perhaps Joel (Bat Nipples) Schumacher really is an evil spirit and must be destroyed.

Our favorite Brat Packeteers (sans Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald) have graduated college and are ready to make their mark on the world.

Judd Nelson plays Alec Newberry, a Democrat turned Republican who wants to marry his live in girlfriend Leslie. However this doesn't stop him from banging every girl within ten feet of him. Judd Nelson glowers and snarls like an epileptic Elvis impersonator but never quite emotes.

Ally Sheedy's witchy weirdness is masked in the thankless role of Leslie. Leslie is a wanna be career woman who doesn't believe in marriage. Despite her character being terminally boring, she has two men fighting over her.

The other man is Kevin played by Andrew McCarthey with his perpetual deer-in-the-headlights gaze. Kevin is a sarcastic obituary writer who yearns to write something earth changing. Humorously the character with no life succeeds by writing an article on the meaning of life. He secretly lusts after Leslie and spends his time debating life and love with a neighborhood hooker.

Emilio Estevez ups his creep factor as law student, Kirby Kager. A chance meeting with a former crush causes him to become full on psycho. He drops out of law school, joins med school, works for a Korean gangster and goes back to law school all in one film. His stalking methods are rewarded though by a kiss from his beloved.

Demi Moore plays party girl, Jules. Jules is the talking handbook of '80s indulgence with her furs, coke, and pink Billy Idol inspired apartment. She is also under a mountain of stress and it culminates in a very '80s nervous breakdown reminiscent of a Bonnie Tyler video.

Mare Winningham plays Wendy the allegedly fat, virginal, heart of the movie. I say allegedly because in reality the actress was pregnant filming this movie. She's the typical rich girl yearning to be out on her own. She is also typically co-dependant on bad boy Billy.

Billy is played by Rob Lowe, chaos incarnate. The only married parent of the group, he blows through jobs and women like they are going out of style. But he only does that when he's not mangling his saxophone during awkward music numbers. Who didn't giggle hysterically when he left his friends to pursue his music career?

The movie in a word, maudlin, we don't even like these characters how can we root for them? Watching a bunch of Yuppies in trendy clothes and fab apartments complain about how hard life is not your typical post college experience. Why not show the real world of post college life? Medium wage jobs, that small apartment you can barely afford and eating Top Ramen more times that you need to.

Rather than fade away, this film continues to thrive. CBS is planning on making a series based on St. Elmo's Fire.