A stream-of-consciousness review.
It's not like these were particularly interesting characters, although Andrew McCarthy's Kevin was endearingly love-struck and shy and Mare Winningham was mysteriously conservative and overdressed (as in 3249827 layers a day with a jumper on top), and oh my goodness what was Rob Lowe doing with that saxophone? Emilio Estevez was a waste of space, basically stalking Andie McDowell until he steals a kiss from her (what?). Judd Nelson was a philanderer which I kind of hated because Ally Sheedy is super cute, but then she hooked up with Andrew McCarthy's character and that scene was the definition of delightful and fun. But then Demi Moore was a cocaine addict and a pathological liar and I didn't care.
And it's not like it was well-plotted. In fact, it had about a thousand plot lines too many which reassures me that the recent influx of multi-plot lined, we're all connected on some level movies aren't exactly anything new. It's just the 80s were more overt about the connections, like a group of BFFFFFFFs the summer after they graduate from college.
Also, why were all the women in this movie besides Demi Moore so dowdy? Was that the thing to do once you graduated from college? Get a mom haircut and high-collared shirts? And do I think of those as mom haircuts because that time period was when my mom was being a mom? You know that's coming back in style in about 10 seconds. Stupid hipsters.
Hey look, Andrew McCarthy is the only one who doesn't look like a jackass.
Wait, I've got it. The soundtrack.
We had countless piano books growing up that had the St. Elmo's Fire theme in it, and it was so familiar. David Foster wrote most of the music used in the film and John Parr performed several of the songs (including the below "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)") with so much enthusiasm that would almost make Kenny Loggins jealous if he hadn't owned the entire decade in movie theme songs.
I mean, how can you resist a movie that so unabashedly uses the saxophone. And dammit, if it isn't a catchy and really well written soundtrack despite its cheese. I think the take away message from this film, if there is one, is that the combination of synthesizer strings and saxophone enhances everything a thousandfold.