SAINT ELMO’S FIRE. 1985. DIRECTED BY JOEL SCHUMACHER. STARRING EMILIO ESTEVEZ, ROB LOWE, ANDREW MCCARTHY, DEMI MOORE, JUDD NELSON, ALLY SHEEDY AND MARE WINNINGHAM. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Oh dear. I was expecting to love this film. After all, I love THE BREAKFAST CLUB. Same era, some of the same people, right…? The Brat Pack-ers from the Eighties…? Well, maybe, but sadly this film is no BREAKFAST CLUB.
I pretty much hated everything about the film. I’m half afraid to say that, knowing how many of you probably have nothing but fond memories of it from your teenage/formative years.
The outfits and hairstyles are so dated as to actually be distracting. I think this is the first time I’ve ever found this to be the case with a film I’ve watched. The characters, a bunch of American twenty-somethings who’ve left college and are having to make their way in the big bad world, are irritating, self-serving, self-obsessed prats who pretty much bring all of their problems on themselves with their own bad behaviour. Not that I’m being judgemental or anything, haha. Let’s have a quick look at them now, shall we?
Judd Nelson, who was actually pretty cool in THE BREAKFAST CLUB- okay, I promise this is the last time I’ll mention TBC- is probably the biggest wally of all of them. He has a perfectly nice girlfriend Leslie (Ally Sheedy) but he cheats on her and, what’s worse, he blames her for his infidelities because she has the cheek to not want to rush into marriage with him. He has terrible floppy hair too. I could possibly forgive the cheating but not the bad hair. Andrew McCarthy plays their friend who puts the moves on Leslie the second she breaks up with Judd Nelson. What a nice guy, eh…?
Emilio Estevez- playing Kirby- is just as big a prat. He develops an unrequited infatuation with a woman who’s, quite frankly, a bit of a snooty cow and what you might even call out of his league. She’s got terrific hair because she’s played by moptop actress Andie MacDowell, but she doesn’t want him and Kirby just can’t- or won’t- get that through his thick skull. He pesters the poor woman and her room-mate as well in a way that shows us his distinct promise as a stalker in the making, which is disturbing, to say the least…
Demi Moore plays Jules, a slutty coke-head with a tendency for screwing up- and screwing- all around her. Mare Winningham, who probably takes the prize for the worst ‘Eighties hair and get-up, is a rich girl from a good family who wants nothing more from life than to get all nekkid and sweaty with bad boy Billy, played by Rob Lowe, who resides in a trailer park with his wife and child, whom he neglects shamefully. See…? I told you they were a bad lot, didn’t I? Although a mulleted Rob Lowe, complete with one earring, ‘Eighties-style, and a cheeky grin, was actually strangely attractive…
If you want to know who ends up with whom and how life pans out for the seven chums, then watch the film. Who knows, you might actually love it. It’s probably not all bad. I just found the characters annoying and unsympathetic and the ending a bit sudden and unrealistic. A bit too pat, if you know what I mean. Oh, and I also hated the theme tune.
Oh dear, it’s awful of me to say that, isn’t it? I’m normally much nicer about films I’ve seen than this. I must have really hated it, haha. Still, that’s life, isn’t it? You can’t win ’em all, as they say. We can’t all like the same things. Onwards and upwards.
You should all watch it, though. Just because I hated it doesn’t mean you guys will as well. One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that, don’t they say that too? Uh-oh. Looks like I’ve exceeded my cliché limit for this review. I’d better toddle off. Every cloud has a silver lining. Slow and steady wins the race. A good start halves the work. Red sky at night… Haha, only joking. Enjoy the film. And don’t forget, people. A bird in the hand beats two in the bush…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at: