The movie remains a classic, the characters memorable, the music suitable to the period and setting.
It instantly galvanized the cast to super-stardom where most of them along-with cast members of another movie that year earned the nickname The Brat Pack.
They were young, talented and hot. And they ruled teen romances and coming of age films in that decade. The industry flaunted this wealth of theirs with a little more dignity than it does with the likes of the Kardashians. But, with equal gusto.
St. Elmo’s Fire was released in 1985 and starred Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Andrew Mc’Carthy, Emilio Estevz, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham. It detailed the post-collegiate lives of Billy, Jules, Alex, Kevin, Kirby, Leslie and Wendy. It was a mish-mash of their struggles as they grappled with life and love, the personal demons each of them carried within, the friendship they all depended on, and much more.
As an adolescent I took to the movie as easily and gleefully as Snape took to the Dark Arts. I crushed on the saxophone playing, drunken bad boy, Billy Hixx like a lot of other girls my age (and older).
I played and replayed the soundtrack, and fell madly in love with the title song. I’m not ashamed to admit loving the cheesiness of it all. It sucked me in. As Kevin (Andrew McCarthy) would say “I love her, man.”
A part of the soundtrack is in today’s playlist, so enjoy.
But before you do… A few quotes from the movie.
“Oh well, I wouldn’t say my father’s trying to bribe me, but he did offer me a Chrysler Lebaron convertible if I get engaged to Howie.” – Wendy
“Listen… get the car, fuck him, and if you don’t like him, break the engagement… And then you can still fuck him.” – Jules
“Love, love, you know what love is? Love is an illusion created by lawyer types like yourself to perpetuate another illusion called marriage to create the reality of divorce and then the illusionary need for divorce lawyers.” – Kevin
“There are several quintessential moments in a man’s life: losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.” – Kirby
Alex: You’re being arrested for drunk driving.
Billy: Drunk definitely, I don’t know if you could call it driving
“No diet works. The only way to lose weight in the thighs is amputation.” – Wendy
“So you lost your job? I’ve lost 20 since graduation. Plus a wife and kid. And, in a new development this morning, a handful of hair in the shower drain.” – Billy
Kirby: 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?
Kevin: 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.
Kirby: It’s the only illusion that counts, my friend.
Kevin: Says who?
Kirby: Anyone who’s been in love.
Kevin: Love sucks.
Kirby: So does your attitude.
Alex: You ran out on this relationship. You take the consequences.
Leslie: I didn’t run out on anything. You ran out.
Alex: You walked out on this relationship.
Leslie: I didn’t walk out. You walked out.
Alex: You fucked Kevin!
Leslie: You fucked many!
Alex: Nameless, faceless many.
Leslie: Thank you. I feel much better now.
“It ain’t a party ’til something gets broken.” – Billy
What can I say? They were a bratty, angst filled bunch.