St. Elmo’s Fire

The piece of work that this reminded me most of was Friends From College ↗, which recency bias aside makes a lot of sense — both are pieces that are centrally interested in how raw and bizarre close college friendships can be and how quickly toxic and deleterious they become after graduation (obvious the show is talking about a timescale of decades, whereas St. Elmo’s Fire is only really interested in a year or two’s distance). I think this film does hit on some core emotional truths: the melodrama & the frankness-bordering-on-after-school-special felt correct to me. Unfortunately, the movies foibles are, uh, painful: the “Emilio Estevez turns into a stalker” storyline went from something that I could charitably refer to as parodic/resonant into Purely Weird AnD Bad super quickly; Rob Lowe’s character was only granted growth and serenity offscreen. I did not like these characters: I knew them, but I did not want to spend time with them, and I don’t think I would have liked them any more if I spent any more time with them.

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