30 Movies in 30 Days: St. Elmo’s Fire

Had I seen it before: No. But the theme song is my jam.

What IMDb says: A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.

Requirements Fulfilled:

– At least one movie from before I was born
– At least one Rated-R movie
– At least one drama

Why I picked it: Not gonna lie, totally thought this was a John Hughes movie when I got it out of the library. It isn’t. That being said, I’ve always loved movies that take something relatively mundane that all humans go through and make it interesting. Oh, and did I mention that the theme song is a banger?

 

What I liked about it: St. Elmo’s Fire has an incredibly relatable and timeless premise. 20-somethings figuring out how to be adults. Similar to its high school counterparts, this movie is comforting in how it reminds us EVERYONE goes through this awkward period of life and they have been for generations. It was a movie with wonderful intentions that made me really want to like it.

What I didn’t like about it: There are seven lead characters in this movie. Seven. I’ve said this about many movies before, but it’s very hard to become equally invested in ALL seven characters. Also, a fair number of the characters aren’t even that likable. One is a stalker. One is a perpetual cheater who insists that if his girlfriend marries him, he’ll stop. One is a cheater who sexually assaults one of the other seven. Basically if you want women humoring the grossness of not-so-likable men for inexplicable reasons, this is the film for you.

I also found that there was this persistent “ok, so where are we going with this?” feeling through most of the movie. Even an hour in I didn’t feel as though the tension had risen since the five-minute mark. Maybe that’s the idea, since “ok, so where we going with this?” is also how it feels to be in your actual twenties.

Rather than gradually building up to a boiling point the way movies are supposed to, St. Elmo’s Fire consists of nothing happening and then suddenly at the end they decided to throw together a climax. You know, like an episode of Riverdale. In this case, one character attempts suicide. It’s not a character I ever really learned enough about to be super duper invested in what SHOULD be a super emotional scene. Oh, also the character that ends up saving her is the same dude who sexually assaulted her and we’re supposed to forgive him now I guess?

Will I watch it again: I have a hunch that this MIGHT be the type of movie that can be enjoyed more after multiple viewings. I definitely want to watch this again now that I’m more aware of the different plot lines and characters to see if I can pay closer attention to the details and see if that makes a difference.

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