Film: St. Elmo's Fire

St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 film about seven friends who start to drift apart after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, the movie stars Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham as the main characters. Andie MacDowell, Martin Balsam, Joyce Van Patten and Jenny Wright play supporting roles.

The film's theme song, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)", performed by John Parr, was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The film also contains an instrumental love theme by David Foster.


This film provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: At least, Wendy does.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Well, some of it.
  • Betty and Veronica: Leslie between Kevin (Betty) and Alec (Veronica). Subverted in that she had a long relationship with Alec before Kevin and in the end doesn't choose either one of them.
    • Wendy between Howie (Betty) and Billy (Veronica). She admits to being in love with Billy but doesn't end up with either one either.
    • Billy between Wendy (Betty) and Felicia (Veronica). Subverted in that Felicia is his wife and mother of his kid while hooking up with Wendy would be an affair.
  • Credit Card Plot: Played straight: Jules gets in serious trouble for her overspending habits and her liberal usage of several credit cards; she ends up having most of her stuff repossessed.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Leslie doesn't end up with either Alec or Kevin, Kirby doesn't end up with Dale, and, despite spending the night together, Billy and Wendy don't end up together.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Howie
  • Double Standard: Invoked while Leslie and Alec break up.
    "You fucked Kevin."
    "You fucked many!"
    "Nameless, faceless many."
    "I feel much better now. Thanks."
  • The '80s: and then some.
  • Gold Digger: How Jules perceives herself at times, especially in light of her sleeping with her boss.
    "So, I bop him for a couple of years, get his job when he gets his hands caught in the vault, do a black mink ad, retire in utter disgrace, then write a best seller and be a fabulous host on my own talk show..."
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: One of Kevin's friends is a hooker.
  • Hypocrite: Alec repeatedly cheats on Lesley for who knows how long during their relationship. When she sleeps with Kevin, he see's no problem with constantly reminding her of it. See Double Standard above.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Jules is a deconstruction.
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Man Child: Billy
  • Meganekko: Wendy
  • Mistaken for Gay: Kevin, by Jules. He's actually in love with Lesley
  • Room Full of Crazy: Jules, toward the end.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Happens to Wendy at the very end.
  • Sexy Sax Man: Billy.
  • Six Student Clique: There's seven but it still counts.
    • The Head: Alec and Kevin.
    • The Muscle: Billy
    • The Quirk: The group thinks Kevin is this but it applies to Kirby better.
    • The Pretty One: Leslie
    • The Smart One: Wendy
    • The Wild One: Jules
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kirby, as far as med student Dale is concerned. He starts out seeing himself as a Dogged Nice Guy who just can't get a break. Later on, he, uh, embraces the truth.
    "I'm obsessed, thank you very much."
  • Strawman Political: Alec, who ditches his liberal viewpoint after graduation, becoming a heartless Republican who cheats repeatedly on his girlfriend.
  • Title Drop: "You know what this is? This is St. Elmo's Fire."
  • Troubled, but Cute: Billy
  • True Companions
  • Unconfessed Unemployment: Jules, after she's been fired.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Fashion, music, and Alec's liberal-conservative flip are reflective of very in-the-moment trends.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Wendy, according to at least one of the women she tries to help out as a social worker.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Alec cheats on Leslie and Billy cheats on his wife.

Alternative Title(s):

St Elmos Fire