I LOVE THE BRAT PACK.
This post was initially titled MovieMondays: The Breakfast Club. But, I think most everyone has seen, or at least heard of, The Breakfast Club. I just wanted to make it known that I love The Breakfast Club. *Fist Pump Freeze Frame*
So, I switched it. To the other best 80’s movie ever: St. Elmo’s Fire.
I first watched this movie in one of my favorite houses in a small town in Alabama. A second home of mine. I saw it with my sister’s best friend, laying on my stomach, with my chin propped in my hands, on my elbows.
I love this movie. It makes me think of my second home, of being younger, and of how cool I felt when my sister’s best friend asked me to watch it with her. I didn’t relate to it as much as I do now. I immediately loved it, though.
Released: June 28, 1985
Emilio Estevez as Kirby
Andrew McCarthy as Kevin
Rob Lowe as Billy
Judd Nelson as Alec
Ally Sheedy as Leslie
Demi Moore as Jules
Mare Wenningham as Wendy
Here are four reasons why I love St. Elmo’s Fire.
1. It Sucks to Graduate
When I first watched this movie, I had not faced the dark, dark hole that is graduating from college. All your friends move to different cities, have real responsibilities, and have real jobs (for the most part.) Some of them do boomerang, I have to admit. But I digress. In college, you are surrounded, all the time, by your friends and parties and things to do. Then, you graduate and it’s a pretty immediate sense of loss.
The characters in this movie show the pain-staking transition from college-adult to real-life adult, complete with a few extra issues: unrequited love, a cocaine problem, a non-faithful boyfriend, and nervous breakdowns. Maintaining friendships with your old friends is difficult, and maintaining your sense of self is ever harder. St. Elmo’s Fire does not hold back. These characters are put through the ringer. This move shows you that you can survive, but that it does, in fact, suck to graduate.
2. Everyone Is Not Created Equal.
In the movie, Alec is a successful guy pursuing a career in politics. Billy is struggling to hold down a job. How do they stay friends? It’s hard! It’s really hard to relate to people who are in a different working class than you. Don’t believe me? If you’re super successful, take a note of who your friends are. Anyone stand out that isn’t as super successful as you? I thought so.
St. Elmo’s Fire prepared me for the depressing fact that not everyone is created equal, and this extends to the post-graduate life. You’ll see that Billy struggles the most with letting go of his college life. On campus, he was clearly a god. In the real world, he’s nobody.
Everyone is not created equal and everyone is not treated equally. My mom used to tell me: you are special to me, and to this family, but that doesn’t mean much when you walk out the door. She was right.
3. Boys Are Mean
Billy and Alec really solidified this for me — although this doesn’t apply to every guy out there. I know there are good guys. There are great guys who aren’t cheaters and bums and liars.That’s not what I’m saying.
My sister used to warn me about fighting with boys. She would tell me that if I wanted to start something with a guy, I better be prepared to have my feelings hurt, because they fight dirty.
In the movie, Billy takes complete and total advantage of Wendy. I don’t want to ruin it for you poor, poor souls who have never seen it. But he’s scum. Also scum: Alec. Watching these two men operate made me realize that my sister was right, all those years. (Except about me borrowing her clothes. She wasn’t right about not sharing. Even if I did always ruin her clothes.)
I’m all for equality, but, women, you must know by now: men are different and live differently and fight differently than women. And if you don’t agree, watch this movie.
4. You Can Survive After College
Watching this movie will most likely throw you into a tailspin of nostalgia. Remember when I was cool? Remember when I was young? Remember when I was idealistic and thought anything was possible? Yeah. Like most 80’s movies, this movie wraps up rather nicely. But I think the final message is that you can, you really can survive post-graduate life. It’s hard and demanding and confusing and unfair, but you can survive it. If Leslie and Jules can survive nervous-breakdowns then you can survive the post-graduate real-adult life. And that message is why I watch this movie. Over and over and over again.
BONUS: 5. THIS VIDEO.