Lion of the Blogosphere

Game in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 3 (Emilio Estevez storyline)

Previous posts in this series:
St. Elmo’s Fire: the cast
Game in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 1 (the alphas)
Game in St. Elmo’s Fire, part 2 (the betas and oneitis)

A long summary of the storyline

In the opening scene of the movie, the group of friends is at the hospital because alpha bad-boy Rob Lowe crashed plain-Jane Mare Winningham’s car while driving drunk. Emilio Estevez sees Andie McDowell who is a medical student/intern at the hospital and is smitten by her. While he’s wearing a dorky waiter’s outfit which makes him look like a beta loser.

Later that evening after getting back to the apartment he shares with Andrew McCarthy, he proclaims his love for her since the first time he saw her when he was a freshman and she was a senior. McCarthy says “What are you talking about? You only took her to one movie.” Estevez then has the great line:

There are several quintessential moments in a man’s life. Losing his virginity, getting married, becoming a father, and having the right girl smile at you.

Maybe the first three are quintessential; the last one sounds like a beta-male thing. But I love the use of the word “quintessential.” Was Joel Schumacher aware that he was directing the quintessential 80s movie?

Apparently Estevez is able to obtain a lunch date with MacDowell because in the next scene in this storyline we see him showing up at an expensive more than two hours before his date so he can select the perfect table. When the maitre d’ explains that the prefect table is only for a party of four, Estevez says he will pay double.

It seems like a very beta thing to attach so much importance to one date. Estevez is heavily afflicted by the horrible disease of oneitis, and he is doing stupid things because of it.

MacDowell arrives late. Estevez reminds her that they saw Annie Hall on their previous date four years ago. MacDowell doesn’t remember she thought they saw a Mel Brooks movie. The date was obviously much less of a deal for MacDowell than it was for Estevez.

I thought it was pretty profound that Annie Hall was mentioned. A few days ago I wrote that Annie Hall was perhaps the quintessential 70s movie, and here we have the quintessential 80s movie referring back to the quintessential 70s movie.

Then the maitre d’ comes back to the table with a cordless phone and tells MacDowell that she has a phone call. Now when was the last time you saw that happen at a restaurant? It was an era before mobile phones. Their date is over before they even order any food, because she has to go back to the hospital.

Estevez then decides that he’s going to drop out of law school and go to medical school instead, in order to impress MacDowell. Now we see Estevez’s doing really stupid things. Not that going to medical school is inherently stupid, but dropping out of law school in order to increase his chance of getting that one particular girl from 0.000001% to 0.000002% is a stupid thing to do.

In the next scene, Estevez has turned into a stalker. He is sitting on his bicycle in front of MacDowell’s garage. It starts to rain just as she drives out of the garage, driving a red Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk1 convertible (back when imported cars were still somewhat exotic and not yet driven by proles). His loser transportation is contrasted to her much fancier transportation.

She arrives at a house where two men wearing red jackets come out, one parks her car, and the other holds an umbrella over her head and escorts her in. She’s going to a much fancier and more expensive party than Estevez, we assume, has ever attended. Soaking wet now, Estevez peers in through a window and sees all the expensively dressed party guests milling around, and some tall blonde guy kisses Andie MacDowell on the cheek.

Estevez storms into the party, and it’s filmed from his point of view so you can feel what it’s like for everyone at the party to be staring at you. MacDowell says “Kirby? How are you?” He responds, “I’m obsessed, thank you very much.” He sure is. It’s hilarious. In real life, MacDowell would probably call the police, and some of the waiters would kick him out. But in the movie, she takes him back to her apartment.

This leads to another hilarious moment where Estevez picks up her pillow and furtively looks and then breathes in deeply. Andie MacDowell’s roommate spots him doing that and gives him a long and really evil stare to let him know that she thinks he’s a weirdo. Estevez is a creepy pervert in addition to being a stalker!

Estevez then decides that in order to impress MacDowell, he needs to be rich, or at least to present the appearance of being rich. So he drops out of medical school to get a job working for “Mr. Kim” a shifty but “famous Korean entrepreneur” who despite his alleged business acumen seems to be very bad at hiring reliable help. Pretending to be suddenly financially successful, he invites MacDowell to a party at Mr. Kim’s house. Of course, she doesn’t show up.

After being unsuccessful at reaching MacDowell by phone, he goes to her house enraged and acts like a crazy man.

Kirby: Where the hell is Dale?
Dale’s Roommate: She went skiing.
Kirby: Whatdyamean? Where?
Dale’s Roomate: Why should I tell you?
Kirby: Because I’m not responsible for what I’ll do to you if you don’t.

Instead of calling the police, she apparently gives Kirby the address of the ski cabin, because in the next scene with Estevez we see him arriving at the cabin where MacDowell is spending the weekend with her doctor boyfriend. (See my previous post about the sweaters they are wearing the next morning.)

Once again, instead of calling the, ore getting into a fistfight with MacDowell’s boyfriend, they invite him to spend the night in their living room on account of his car being stuck in the snow. I guess the boyfriend see’s Estevez as so much lower on the totem pole, he has nothing to fear from his sexual competition and thus can show him mercy.

Before sending Estevez home the next morning, the boyfriend says he will get the camera to take a picture. While the boyfriend goes back inside to get the camera, Estevez forcefully kisses MacDowell. To a great crescendo of background theme music. This would be characterized as a sexual assault today. But MacDowell, instead of getting pissed and yelling at him, is shown to enjoy the kiss. Because he is suddenly more forceful, she is attracted to his alpha maleness. And the kiss is so awesome for Estevez that becomes giddily happy and is cured of his oneitis (perhaps because he feels alpha now, and oneitis only afflicts betas).


In the final cut of this storyline, Estevez is shown driving home with his fist in the air celebrating the kiss.

What do we make of this storyline?

This part of the storyline should come with a warning that reads “Professional actors, don’t try this at home.” Estevez clearly does a lot of things that would be considered illegal and men have wound up in jail for stuff like that.

The storyline is obviously added for comic relief. Parts of it are definitely funny. And it ties this movie to a lot of previous 80s sex comedies aimed at horny young men. My favorite was Revenge of the Nerds, a movie in which the nerds install hidden video cameras in the hot girls sorority house, and enjoy a great peep show. And the main nerd has sex with a hot sorority girl by impersonating her jock fraternity boyfriend. When she discovers the ruse, instead of screaming and calling the police, and the nerd going to prison for rape, she is pleased to discover how good the nerd is at sex.

However, the concept that a beta-male gets oneitis, which then causes him to do a lot of things he shouldn’t do, is not at all unrealistic. It happens all the time in the real world. Stalking is common enough. It is said that one in six women in the United States have been victims of stalking at one time in their lives. Even if that number is somewhat exaggerated, stalking is still a common enough occurrence. This movie shows us that the men who engage in this activity are not necessarily nameless faceless creepy weirdos who should never have been born. Estevez is a decent guy who is simply unsuccessful with women, and can’t handle his emotions when he gets oneitis. Roissy would say that if only Estevez had been taught about “game,” his life would have been turned around for the better. He wouldn’t have dropped out of law school and he wouldn’t have committed a bunch of crimes that could have led to serious legal action against him.

Few real-world women would tolerate Estevez’s creepy stalking behavior the way MacDowell does in the movie. Her attitude towards Kirby is like the one a woman might have for a young child who misbehaves. There is a slight annoyance, but also amusement, and the situation is dealt with patiently and with affection and goodwill for the misbehaving child. Oneitis has been called a disease by “game” writers, and MacDowell plays a medical intern, so maybe she sees Estevez as a patient who is sick through no fault of his own, and thus someone to be pitied rather than hated.

Despite the fact that Estevez doesn’t suffer the worst case consequence from his misbehavior, I think the storyline still demonstrates the bad outcomes from oneitis. It’s obvious that MacDowell has no interest in Estevez, and we can also see his mental state. Add on top of that the reminder that Estevez could have been convicted of various crimes, this storyline is a stark reminder to beta-males that onetitis is really bad and they should not succumb to it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm

Posted in Movies

26 Responses

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  1. In real life, women would find Emilio Estavez attractive even if he wasn’t famous. He would also be outgoing, which they would like. No game needed, sorry Manosphere.

    A Reader

    January 12, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    • Emilio Estevez is only listed at 5’7″, and knowing how that works he could really be only 5’6″.

      However, in real life he would have the self confidence of a successful actor and famous person.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 12, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      • I have seen plenty of short guys get hot girls. Helps to be attractive though.

        A Reader

        January 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      • Somehow I suspect that in real life, as opposed to the Blogosphere’s imaginary world, short men get in relationships and marriages at the same rate as taller men.



        January 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      • >>Somehow I suspect that in real life, as opposed to the Blogosphere’s imaginary world, short men get in relationships and marriages at the same rate as taller men.

        True, but they often very insecure, until they get old enough where it doesn’t matter anymore.

        Growing up, in my teens, the most aggressive, bullying dudes I knew were short. In a way, they were sort of alpha, but it wasn’t an effortless alpha, so I guess that didn’t make them true alphas.


        January 13, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      • Somehow I suspect that in real life, as opposed to the Blogosphere’s imaginary world, short men get in relationships and marriages at the same rate as taller men.

        According to the Lion, the blogosphere is reality.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        January 13, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      • Oh, UD.

        It is not the blogosphere. It is… the Bonnier-sphere

        Yes, I am trolling Undiscovered Jew.


        January 14, 2016 at 3:23 am

  2. The beta should after this think: “Wait, all that just for a brief makeout?” I hope Emilio was celebrating that the spell was broken on his way home. The practitioner would furthermore see Emilio could have kissed Andie long before this point and by this entirely skip comically avoidant behavior like dropping out of law school etc.

    Emilio, afflicted by unreciprocated oneitis, should next go out and date ten other women. He will then realize they are basically the same and not so unique and special, and can find a mate comparable to Andie. (The fact that women are mostly the same is one of the few things we men can give thanks for. Imagine if every relationship needed an entirely different paradigm to get started.)

    Indeed, as we now know, Andie McDowell’s doctor will end up having a single kid at 35 and would after some time divorce Emilio if he made less than her. There are better choices around for those who want a family.


    January 12, 2016 at 7:11 pm

  3. Perhaps you could discuss some more aspects about dating and mating across classes?

    Still haven’t watched the film yet…

    How would you judge the class of Andie MacDowell’s character? For the middle and lower classes, being a physician is pretty successful and worth striving for. However from the perspective of people who own property and capital and let that do their working for them, a doctor might be a philanthropist on a very small scale… one who helps one soul at a time. The scion of a good family in the upper classes might have no problem dating a poor medical student… especially if she is of good and virtuous character. However Estevez’s plan to become a medical student was pretty misguided on many levels. Students of all kinds, especially medical students, have to wait an awful long time before any payout. The lady students would rather trade their youth and beauty for something that they don’t have, the resources to make for a good and exciting time that only successful yuppies or heirs can offer. Georgetown is not exactly a party school; there are plenty of cuties, but the kind who get in and want attend go there because they’re pretty serious about their studies. The few cuties can have their pick. When I was there, they quickly got scooped up by Yuppies of various degrees of success who were probably pretty pleased to get cute fresh faced girls…. even if they were still students. They don’t say Washington is like Hollywood for ugly people for no reason.

    Regarding oneitis… Doesn’t everybody get crushes? But let’s be clear, girls can crush “up” on guys with higher social and economic status. If she’s cute and sweet enough, she might be able to pull off a “Cinderella.” Guys can crush “down” on girls coming from a more humble social class and elevate them up to their own level. Low class guys can dream all they want about the princesses. The princesses may be sweet and kind to them like Andie MacDowell’s character treats Estevez, but the basic boys can’t ever hope to ascend to her level and capture her heart (more likely head) no matter how hard they try to pull a Gatsby. Probably the best they can hope for is for a brief tawdry affair as the ladies’ pool-boys, yoga instructors, etc.

    While I was at Georgetown I had my share of crushes (and I might have been the object of a few too). The class issue was usually pretty important. As a half Jewish Catholic White ethnic Mischling who came through public schools, I didn’t exactly originate from fancy elite blood. Probably my first crush on campus was this Finnish girl. Like Estevez I tried to get closer because I had zero game and zero clue about how to manage things. (I’m still pretty clueless…) As a kid I had taught myself to windsurf while growing up back in Jersey. My sweet crush was on the sailing team and she explained that some of the other teams from the other universities had competitors in windsurfing even if the Georgetown team didn’t have any yet. So I tried to be the Georgetown sailing windsurfer… After a few practice meets with the schools in the region, it was clear that my self-taught skills would never provide enough potential to compete. More to the point, the others on the team never exactly made me feel welcome as part of the group. They were usually polite, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was the object of a long sustained private joke.

    I’m glad the Lion is discussing game. For years everybody has been obsessed with “sex-ed.” Like Estevez’s character I’m convinced that more young people struggle with dating and mating game than are naturals. We spend all this time telling them how to have sex, but precious little on how to have relationships. In my opinion they’ve got it backwards. We instead could be teaching kids how to have satisfying mature relationships and how to avoid embarrassing themselves and getting hearts broken. Even feminists might get on board if these lessons “teach guys not to rape” at least if it actually teaches the fellas how to get what they want without any coercion or hurt feelings. Game truly saves lives. Teach guys how to be the kind of great and confident men that women find irresistible.. it’s a win-win for both men and women.

    Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

    January 12, 2016 at 7:55 pm

  4. Estevez had a couple of alpha lines in another quintessential 80s movie — Repo Man — though his character wasn’t really alpha. (The alpha in Repo Man was the black guy, Lite.)

    At one point Estevez said to his girlfriend, “The least you could do is give me a blowjob.” She slaps his face and storms off, and he just laughs.

    Then hear the end, she says,

    “But Otto, what about our relationship?”

    And he says dismissively, “Screw that.”


    January 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm

  5. I don’t think you got the cabin see where he kisses Andie Macdowell.

    The point is that he went for it- “going for it” is attractive, and does work in real life.
    Some women -do- like to be pursued.

    Sure, it might be dangerous in the modern climate, but I suspect in the movie that Estevez gets together with Macdowell when she comes back from the ski trip….he went for it and proved he has the cojones.


    January 12, 2016 at 8:11 pm

  6. This movie is a romcom, aka chick flick. Women enjoy watching a guy suffer oneitis toward some other random woman. Enjoy not in a cruel way, but more like, “Aw, he is so romantic, so cute and adorable!” (That’s puppy-cute, not sexy-cute.) But if they are themselves the target of an oneitis-afflicted man, and they are not attracted to him, it’s a whole different story.


    January 12, 2016 at 10:05 pm

  7. I don’t think oneitis is so horrible. These guys are just romantics. A guy like that, a romantic, should waste his energy on a woman who would appreciate it. A Latin woman, perhaps?


    January 12, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    • It is horrible. It is a waste of your time. It is psychologically crippling. It prevents normal, healthy relationships from occurring.


      January 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

      • It is a waste of time. I agree. But it’s nice to feel that passion.


        January 13, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      • Some men feel great passion for female celebrities. They stalk them and fantasize about them. That passion is futile, even if it is not actually harmful, because these men will never score with those celebrity women.

        Men who have one-itis for ordinary women are also consumed with futile passion, and they are more likely to hang on to that futile passion because they think there is some chance, however small, that she will someday change her mind.


        January 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

  8. Your mention of Annie Hall reminds me of something that should eventually get discussed here. I’m thinking of the scene with Marshal McLuhan. If anything was quintessentially ’70’s, it was McLuhan worship. But I tried to read him and never knew what he was on about. How about a post about the greatest American phony (I suspect) of the post-war era?

    Coot Veal

    January 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    • The Marshal McLuhan scene wasn’t about Marshal McLuhan: it was about blowhards. And the blowhard wasn’t McLuhan, but the guy in the line quoting him.

      The scene also exemplified a recurring theme in the movie, that intellectualism is overrated, except to the extent that it confers status.

      Dave Pinsen

      January 13, 2016 at 4:53 am

  9. “Few real-world women would tolerate Estevez’s creepy stalking behavior the way MacDowell does in the movie.”

    It depends. I had a girlfriend who would send me packing with an ultimatum to never speak to her again only to call crying with remorse the following day. This happened repeatedly. For many, being ignored or pursued in a passive way is far worse than being pursued aggressively.


    January 13, 2016 at 1:31 am

  10. Revenge of the Nerds is hilarious. If you haven’t seen it, go rent it. It’s good.

    Best line: “……A nerd saw me naked!”


    January 13, 2016 at 4:58 pm

  11. Estevez then decides that he’s going to drop out of law school …

    Dropping out of law school is a very good idea. I dropped out of law school in 1987 after one year at New England School of Law and never regretted it.

    E. Rekshun

    January 13, 2016 at 4:58 pm

  12. Estevez is driving a beta car. It looks like he’s driving his grandfather’s Chrysler LeBaron.

    E. Rekshun

    January 13, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    • It’s the car that Mare Winningham’s father bought her to entice her to marry a beta-male provider who she doesn’t love.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    • The labaron was a classic k car and I hated all of them. I never owned an 80s car until purchasing a 1988 Mercedes in the 2010s. I drove 1070s cars through the entire 80s.


      January 13, 2016 at 11:06 pm

  13. During the movie’s time period Volkswagen manufactured Golf’s at a plant in Pennsylvania.



    January 13, 2016 at 6:39 pm

  14. Oneitis is the extreme need or want for one thing above all others. It is a recipe for making mistakes because you are not in your right mind to field the attentions of others. This applies outside of dating as well.

    The proper frame is always to act as if you have an abundance of options.


    January 14, 2016 at 3:36 am

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