A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that sex and relationships play key roles in the plot of this film. While the love-making scenes are respectful and discreet, there are some frank discussions about sex in the film. Scenes feature strong language, infidelity, acts of violence, and a suicide attempt. Characters sometimes drink in excess and behave badly as a result. One character has a cocaine problem that her friends address.
What's the story?
ST. ELMO'S FIRE follows the trials and tribulations of seven recent Georgetown grads struggling to build careers, maintain relationships, and transition into full-fledged adults. Each character has his/her issues.Social worker Wendy (Mare Winningham) gets constant pressure from her rich father to marry and join the family business. She has a crush for Billy (Rob Lowe), who has troubles of his own, in the form of a wife, a child, and a string of affairs. Billy accepts help from shrewd Alec (Judd Nelson), a Capitol Hill high roller, who sells-out to advance his career. Alec has trouble staying faithful to his girlfriend, down-to-earth Leslie (Ally Sheedy). Leslie offers comfort to out-of-control Jules (Demi Moore) and offers guidance to Kevin (Andrew McCarthy), who secretly harbors a crush on her. Kirby (Emilio Estevez), a waiter at the gang's hangout, St. Elmo's Fire, actively pursues a young lovely doctor (Andie MacDowell) who is way out of his league. Despite their difficulties and rivalries, they prove to be good friends, a job that requires skill and patience, which cannot be learned in school.
Is it any good?
Written and directed by Joel Schumacher, St. Elmo's Fire is a mediocre attempt at recreating the success of earlier "Brat Pack" films such as The Breakfast Club, Class, and Pretty in Pink. Riding on the coattails of The Big Chill, the film is unsuccessful in eliciting audience identification with its stock characters. From untamable bad boy Billy to poor little rich girl Jules, the film's narrow types provide nothing new to this already beaten-to-death genre.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the struggles of adulthood. Parents could offer unique insights about entering "the real world" in their post-school days. What kinds of responsibilities come with entering the workforce? How can the support of friends affect one's ability to develop into an adult?
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