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Overall Rating
2.7

Awesome: 13.04%
Worth A Look: 21.74%
Average: 17.39%
Pretty Bad: 17.39%
Total Crap30.43%

1 review, 17 user ratings



St. Elmo's Fire
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by Jaycie

"You ever feel like you're not accomplishing anything at all?"
1 stars

You can tell how big a shit the makers of this abomination did not give just by listening to its theme song. John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" has absolutely nothing to do with what's happening on the screen; the poor man was forced to shoehorn the phrase "St. Elmo's fire" into a song about a Canadian Paralympian who, if he had use of his legs, would give everyone involved the swift kick in the ass they deserve. (Actually, Rick Hansen is probably a very nice guy with much better things to think about. But I refuse to believe this movie would not seriously test his patience.)

Of the scourge of Brat Pack films that overtook most of the 80s and half the 90s, St. Elmo's Fire is easily the worst – or, at least, the worst anyone remembers. It also casts the widest swath of Brat Pack members, thankfully sparing Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald. That's probably a good thing because screenwriters Joel Schumacher and Carl Kurlander clearly found thinking up one topic of conversation per character too taxing. Nine total topics of conversation would have been just too much.

A group of recent college graduates is bound together by the general "coming of age" they have to do, and the whining they're doing in the meantime. Kirby "Kirbo" Keager (Emilio Estevez and, no, I did not make that name up) is obsessed with a former fellow student who smiled at him once (Andie MacDowell) and goes to literally insane lengths to get her attention. Kevin (Andrew McCarthy) wishes he could write something meaningful instead of obituaries. Billy (Rob Lowe, deep in his insufferable douchebag phase) needs to grow up and stop having sex with everyone other than his scarce-seen wife (Jenny Wright). Alec (Judd Nelson) wishes Leslie (Ally Sheedy) would just up and marry him so he can stop cheating on her. Leslie wishes Alec would stop pressuring her into marriage and cheating on her. Jules (Demi Moore and the world's worst dye job) is perfectly OK with being a free-spending coke-addled slut, until all her stuff gets repo'd. Wendy (Mare Winningham) wishes her overprotective parents would get off her case. And everyone complains about these things nonstop for 110 minutes.

By now you've probably gotten the impression that the problem with these people is their unbelievable self-absorption. While that certainly gets old quickly, it would be less of a problem if they weren't so ungodly boring. None is worth rooting for, sympathizing with or even disliking that much; they are defined solely by their one problem each, and all of those problems can be solved with a little remedy called "big kid pants." The exception is "Kirbo" (seriously, WTF?); you will be endlessly fascinated by the fact that nobody, not even the object of his crazed stalking, points out how much better off he'd be with a rubber room and a large quantity of sedatives. And they say this generation gets off too easy.

I'll skip talking about the production value, which is the barely existent sort typical of 80s teen dramas. (Yes, Schumacher was also the director, but there's nary a Bat-nipple in sight.) Same goes for the performances; this is a Brat Pack movie to the core, so there's no incentive to look to other actors for improvements. The point is, there is absolutely nothing to see here. If you want nearly two hours of twenty-something middle-class white people yammering about their dramas, watch a marathon of The Hills instead.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3108&reviewer=432
originally posted: 08/28/15 04:47:45
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell boring 1 stars
5/26/14 PAUL SHORTT JUVENILE ROMANTIC COMEDY, WITH OBNOXIOUS CHARACTERS 2 stars
5/13/06 Sugarfoot Has a few effective moments, but at times seem too much like a soap opera. 3 stars
11/29/03 john it's dated but that's great! it's actually a very good film 5 stars
9/17/03 Alan Sooooooooooap Opera for Georgetown grads. 2 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald overwrought dramatic moments saved by interesting characters who sell it with sincerity 3 stars
4/24/03 Andrew Carden Fantastic Cast Make This Teen Soap Opera Watchable. Lowe Is AWFUL, However. 3 stars
4/03/03 ttiinnaa brilliant 5 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby A charismatic cast and bouncy execution make this a winner. Super music score. 4 stars
9/12/02 y2mckay It's like a Dawson's Creek for the 80's crowd. Pretentious drivel with peppy soundtrack 2 stars
7/21/02 KMG 1980s Reagan-era garbage 2 stars
10/24/01 Jake It's not all that. Mediocre affair that doesn't offer much. 3 stars
9/09/01 Butterbean Was channel surfing, saw it on HBO and couldn't turn the channel. It grabs you to the end! 4 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk great to see the brat pack back together again, but the film ultimately feels dated. 4 stars
4/10/01 Gary I only saw the last 45 minutes, but it was really good. 4 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L It's the Brat Pack's high point - no Molly Ringwald - YAY! 5 stars
12/10/00 Tiffany If you liked the 80's Brat Pack you will like this one, not quite as good as Pretty in Pink 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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  20-Sep-1985 (R)

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