The 1980s is a decade defined by films about the struggles of young people and the exploits of the "Brat Pack." Although John Hughes and his movies continue to reign as the dominant force of that era, Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire has also carved out a reputation for itself as a watershed 1980s romp. The film is packed to the brim with some pretty cringeworthy moments (in hindsight... they were awesome at the time), but Demi Moore recently opened up and admitted that the scene in which her character Jules tries to freeze herself in her empty apartment is definitely the worst of the bunch. Moore elaborated:
Sitting on the floor with all the windows open in the cold was a cringeworthy moment for me. It's probably better that I haven't seen the movie recently. I am sure I would find many more.
The cast of St. Elmo's Fire (which includes icons like Rob Lowe, Andie MacDowell, Judd Nelson, and Andrew McCarthy) and Joel Schumacher recently reunited for an interview with EW, and (like all great reunions) the conversation eventually turned to some of the film's more embarrassing moments. As far as on-screen suicide attempts go in the movie world, Jules' attempt to lock herself in her apartment and freeze herself to death is a pretty bizarre -- not to mention wholly impractical -- attempt. Sure, she had just lost her job and was overdue on credit card bills, but that did not make the scene any less weird or difficult to watch.
Demi Moore isn't wrong in her assessment of the scene. It really is insanely cringeworthy, and that means that you should definitely check it out below for a reminder of how ridiculous it is.
Of course, Joel Schumacher eventually jumped in to clarify his artistic vision (and save a bit of face) by acknowledging the cringeworthy nature of the scene. In his mind, the scene was supposed to be objectively ridiculous to highlight the overly dramatic nature of Moore's character in the film. The infamous Batman director said:
That part was satirical and tongue-in-cheek. She's so fucking dramatic all the time. Demi did it fantastically, but it was ridiculous. Do you know how long it takes to freeze herself in a Georgetown apartment? She's not in the Antarctic.
For better or for worse, St. Elmo's Fire has fostered a legendary reputation as a quintessential Brat Pack outing of the 1980s. Some aspects of its story are plainly absurd, but who knows? Maybe one day we will look back on the films that debuted in 2017 and think the same thing.