St. Elmo's Fire is the story of seven college graduates trying to find their way in the real world; some are faring better than others. The three female characters are Jules (played by Demi Moore), Leslie (Ally Sheedy), and Wendy (Mare Winningham). While Leslie and Wendy are gainfully employed and doing well in their chosen professions, Jules is only pretending to flourish. Although she claims to be excelling at her prestigious banker job, in fact she has lost her job due to irresponsible behavior - namely, excessive cocaine use. Observing her reckless behavior, including an affair with her married boss, an attempt to intervene by the staid and conservative Leslie and Wendy meets with little success.
There are four guys in the clique: Alec (Judd Nelson), Kevin (Andrew McCarthy), Kirby (Emilio Estevez), and Billy (Rob Lowe). Alec is very much a GOP kind of guy and is rising in the ranks of a local Republican's campaign. He and Leslie live together and plan to marry when the time is right, much to the consternation of Kevin who is secretly in love with Leslie. Billy, the male counterpart of Jules, is struggling with post-college life. Though he has an estranged wife and unintended baby daughter, he is too busy partying and playing his sax in bars all night to hold a steady job and be a proper father. In spite of these character flaws, the meek and giving Wendy keeps bailing wild Billy out of trouble, as she is in love with him. Meanwhile, the very likeable Kirby has not yet moved on from the job he held all through school, a waiter at the gang's favorite hangout. Kirby spends much of the film comically, though touchingly, chasing after an unavailable and inaccessible doctor on whom he has a massive crush.
St. Elmo's Fire is a film that deals with the issues facing this demographic in a sensitive, yet not overly sentimental, way. Visually it is very stylized and the soundtrack is appropriately hip. Although those college age and older would best relate to this movie, most everybody should appreciate this funny and moving film.