My rating: 7
IMDB rating: 6.3
IMDB link: St. Elmo’s Fire
Ohhh how I just love these 1980’s coming-of-age films. This film, together with the classic film The Breakfast Club, stars what we know today as the original members of the Brat Pack. These films, besides still being part of the popular culture, are regarded as some of the most influential films of their time.
But what is it that makes these films so popular? Is it the fact that the modern hipster culture is modelled after these ‘cool kids’ or is it because we still get versions of exactly these films, today, in both the cinematic and televised sphere?
What do I mean by this? A group of friends, that frequents a bar, struggles with jobs, lives in the ‘Big City’ and whose relationships, both sexual and otherwise, are quite intermingled? Why, of course, it is the premise for nearly every sitcom, romantic comedy and even book of the last century.
To name just a few examples, off the top of my head, would be the hugely successful Friends, the show-that-just-would-not-stop How I met your Mother, the feminist version Sex and the City and a few movies (like The Romantics).
But why do I like this movie? There is something so honest about movies from the 1980’s. Yes, they get married too young, cannot hold a job, sleep with each others girlfriends, but they never pretend to be anything other than that.
In the end they portray something that movies (Rom-coms in particular) today fail to grasp, that life is most probably not a Nicholas Sparks movie and that although it is your friends that hurt you the most, they also love you the most. Yes, love certainly does win in this film, but it is not the all-consuming love of finding ‘the one’, it is the familiar love that comes with finding your people, your friends, your family.
Although the term ‘Brat Pack’ had some career-ending consequences for some of its actors, I will always admire them for the brutal honesty with which they faced love, friendship and growing up in these films… That, and the fact that Rob Lowe is the spitting image of a young Ian Somerhalder.
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