Seven friends, recent college graduates, are searching for a place in the real world, as they face issues of career and commitment. Leslie and Alec (Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson) try to save a crumbling romance. Wendy (Mare Winningham), a shy virgin, hides a love for Billy (Rob Lowe), a reluctant father/husband still searching for goals. Kevin (Andrew McCarthy) is a cynical writer who scorns love until he realizes he's in love with his best friend's girl. Kirbo (Emilio Estevez), a law student, obsessively pursues an older woman. The beautiful, neurotic Jules (Demi Moore) paints a poignant picture of life in the fast lane. Against the backdrop of St. Elmo's, their local hang-out, they save, betray and love one another as only the closest of friends can.
A collective vanity piece for the so-called Brat Pack of the 1980s, this coming-of-age movie--written and directed by Joel Schumacher (A Time to Kill)--is a largely unbelievable ensemble piece about college grads having trouble getting a lift-off into adulthood. As in John Hughes's Breakfast Club--which has a lot of casting overlap with this film--each actor plays a rather narrow type with problems common to his or her classification. Some (as with Rob Lowe's seemingly doomstruck character) are more absurd than others. But absurdity isn't the issue in this movie; a general sense of indulgence is. Schumacher not only presumes an undeserved mystique about this cast, but he also exploits it and comes up empty. --Tom Keogh