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 Bar is based on "The Tombs", a popular watering hole with Georgetown University students. For exterior shots, a full street set built at Universal Studios in Los Angeles was used. See more »
Alec shows up at Kevin's apartment the morning after Kevin and Leslie have sex, and starts talking to him from the living area, unaware that Kevin and Leslie are in the bedroom. Kevin then exits the bedroom wearing a red robe. In the next cut showing Leslie in bed over-hearing the conversation, we see someone wearing a red robe exit the bedroom. See more »
You are just pissed off and bitter because you have not had sex in... how long? What is it... a year... maybe two? Refresh my memory please, Kevin. Haven't you heard of the sexual revolution?
Who won, huh? Nobody. Used to be sex was the only free thing, No longer. Alimony... palimony... it's all financial. Love is an illusion.
It's the only illusion that counts, my friend.
Anyone who's been in love.
So does your attitude.
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Perhaps one must be of a certain age to truly appreciate this film. The "self-absorbed" comments seem to spring, in my mind, from older (middle-aged or elderly) viewers, or maybe just from grad students who are frightened that their prof may be reading their dissertation on this film.
In my experience as a 30 year old woman, most young people who are in their twenties are self-absorbed. I think it's a natural and necessary part of thriving in the current United States' culture. I saw this movie in my late teens, and it made a tremendous emotional impact on me. I did not see the characters as shallow, superficial, or selfish, but just as regular people like myself and my friends.
Even now that I have left my twenties, I can go back and still appreciate St. Elmo's Fire; not just for the 80's nostalgia (though that is a big draw, I must admit) but because I perceive the characters as living stories that I can identify with in parts. Especially as a slightly more mature adult, I can look back and say, "Yeah, I remember going through that." or "I knew someone like that five years ago." St. Elmo's Fire will always have a place in my heart for what it represents to my generation, and to the generation that actually came of age during the film's premiere. Maybe one had to grow up in the 80's - whether in childhood or adolescence - to enjoy St. Elmo's Fire.
Okay. So it's not timeless. Who cares? There are some great scenes in this flick and it's a fun watch, even though it always makes me cry.
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