Seven friends, recent college graduates, are searching for a place in the real world, as they face issues of career and commitment. Leslie and Alec (Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson) try to save a crumbling romance. Wendy (Mare Winningham), a shy virgin, hides a love for Billy (Rob Lowe), a reluctant father/husband still searching for goals. Kevin (Andrew McCarthy) is a cynical writer who scorns love until he realizes he's in love with his best friend's girl. Kirbo (Emilio Estevez), a law student, obsessively pursues an older woman. The beautiful, neurotic Jules (Demi Moore) paints a poignant picture of life in the fast lane. Against the backdrop of St. Elmo's, their local hang-out, they save, betray and love one another as only the closest of friends can.