Sunday, July 24, 2011

Billy Hicks, Proper.

Saint Elmo's Fire, 1985.
written and directed by Joel Schumacher.
starring: Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Mare Winningham, Judd Nelson

"Group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood. Their main problem is that they're all self-centered and obnoxious." (imdb).

This film is so ridiculous, you can't go your life without seeing it, especially if you grew up during the eighties. Nice video, right? And I suppose there is some small, valid, cultural significance of just how stereotypically eighties it is, fashion, Republican politics, money, cocaine, feminism, etc., but even these things are so caricatured and written in so poor a narrative, the dialogue from Purple Rain starts to look smart, by comparison. 

This is largely a film about nothing, or nothing important, anyway. It's the story of seven immature white kids, who have silly little high school problems, only after college graduation. Jules (Demi Moore) has a dying stepmother and financial problems; Wendy (Mare Winningham) has fat thighs and a thing for Billy. Billy (Rob Lowe) is irresponsible and has a problem keeping his dick in his pants, apparently having (sexually) gone through most of the women in his inner circle, knocking up a girl named Felicia, and coining utterances such as, "this face seats five," to groups of women he meets at the bar. The rest of them (McCarthy, Nelson, Sheedy, and Estevez) are kind of dull, honestly, not to mention annoying.

The story starts with a car crash, progresses through a series of lost jobs, misguided (obsessive) affections, a stint at a homeless shelter, endless hot pink evening gowns, cocaine, and let's not forget, Andrew McCarthy's *nauseating* sex scene---ending finally with the group (minus Billy) making plans for Sunday brunch in front of their old hangout. Oh aren't we so old and boring? We worldly, 22 year old Georgetown graduates? And how the hell did Billy Hicks get into Georgetown, anyway?

My cousin Heidi had this poster, or one like it. 
My favorite moments of ridiculousness:

The girl at the bar (recipient of aforementioned comment re: mustache rides by Billy) just apparently helps herself to his sax and is tooting it around the bar as the group walks by during "I like a girl who drinks." (??)

"Let's Rock" in conversational tone by Billy, during Halloween performance.

Billy's wife gets to make out with Wolfman from Top Gun, subsequent "Billy!" after the barroom brawl develops.

Leslie's (Ally Sheedy) two inch hair-length discrepancies in various scenes throughout.

Dialogue such as, "Men, can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em." "Let's get trashed anyways!" and the ever-popular, "Ah-booga, booga, booga, ah, ah, ah!" Seriously.

The fact that Billy wears not one, but often two fraternity jackets in almost all of his scenes.

In probably the grossest sex scene of all the eighties, (between McCarthy and Sheedy), he makes a large point of needing to get her front-closing bra off (gag) but yet she KEEPS THE PEARL NECKLACE ON THROUGHOUT. Naked but for pearl necklace in shower sex scene when she randomly knocks over the plastic shower door. (?) Come on.

Matt's comments:
I was trying to figure out Sheedy's character's name (Leslie), and I asked him, "What's that chick's name again?" "TWAT WAFFLE," he replies. This was only about 14 minutes in and he was already getting bitchy. Later, as Jules is describing how her father hates her, "Sounds like Jules has a great life ahead of her. In porn." After sitting through the whole film he finally just looks at me, angrily, and says, "Jesus Christ. How does something like that even happen?" Then stomped away. But then later came into bed in faux-excitement, informing me that the disk "had extras." Super.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

Never seen it. Never wanted to. ;)

I did grow up in the 80s, but I couldn't care less about any of these actors or a movie described by everybody as complete dreck.

Anna said...

it is pretty much the world's biggest train wreck. I wanted to see it so bad after that ridiculous video started playing on MTV> also i had the hots for Billy, clearly.

Justin Garrett Blum said...

I was flipping through the channel this weekend and saw this. I watched about ten seconds, and it was already two 80s for me.