St. Elmo’s Fire is a truly terrific movie about a group of seven friends who are startled to find the transition from college to the real world to be surprisingly difficult. They must learn to break away from sheltering parents, cope with compromising ideals to pay the bills, and for the first time, truly stand on their own two feet. Many of them understand, for the first time, that they have yet to discover who they truly are.
Now, the fact that this is a Brat Pack flick in all its glory and that the 80s tunes snaking through the background is a huge bonus. But the central reason that I love this movie is that while there are numerous high school and even college angst films, Hollywood seems to ignore the truly terrifying post graduation limbo in which many of us find ourselves. What do we do now? How do we start the rest of our lives?
In hindsight, while I may not have had as much difficulty as Emilio Esteves or Demi Moore, I absolutely coasted for a few years and took my time selecting my future profession. Now, though, I am positively amazed at how far a single year of graduate school has propelled me. I feel very competent, have begun to follow my own cases from start to finish, and am happy to find that I like coming in to school in the mornings. I am making informed, educated decisions on how to proceed with each child, rather than making stabs in the dark. I think that making the decision to move forward is half the battle: once you’ve begun, everything begins to come together.
I have yet to find a Hollywood movie about a group of friends living successful, contented lives, let alone one set to 80s music. I guess viewers would find it predictable and boring- but I do hope that there is a large group of people out there who would see themselves in it!