St. Elmo's Fire [1985]

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

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