Taglines: There’s the first one. There’s the right one. And there’s the one you never forget.
In 1966 New Jersey, Jill Rosen, a frustrated high schooler, is intrigued by an enigmatic new student known only as the Sheik. Sheik is an Italian whose primary interests are his car, Frank Sinatra, and Jill. At first she is taken aback by his forwardness, but they soon develop a relationship, much to the chagrin of their parents. Sheik gets expelled from school, and Jill is accepted at an all-girls college. After a fight, Sheik goes to Florida to work in a club lip-synching Sinatra songs. Sheik becomes dissatisfied with his Florida lifestyle and goes back to New Jersey to try to win Jill over.
Baby It’s You is a 1983 American film written and directed by John Sayles. It stars Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin, Jack Davidson, Dolores Messina, Leora Dana, Bill Raymond and Liane Curtis.
About the Story
The film is about a romance between an upper middle class Jewish girl named Jill Rosen (Arquette), who is bound for Sarah Lawrence College, and a blue-collar Italian boy nicknamed the Sheik (Spano) in late 1966 New Jersey, who aspires to follow in Frank Sinatra’s footsteps.
The movie follows their high school experiences during their romance: Jill’s success in high school acting productions, Jill’s rebuffing of Sheik’s sexual advances, Sheik’s one-night stand with a sexually active friend of Jill’s and a subsequent suicide attempt by that friend.
Eventually, Sheik is expelled from school, and after an attempted robbery and subsequent pursuit by local police, Sheik goes to Miami, Florida, while Jill subsequently leaves for her first year at Sarah Lawrence in the fall of 1967. At one point in her first year, Jill visits Sheik in Florida, and although she sees clearly how little he has going for him (he has found work in a nightclub washing dishes and, on weekends, lipsynching to Frank Sinatra recordings), she has sex with him. In the moments before they undress, their conversation turns to his odd nickname, which he had not explained to Jill when they dated in high school. “Sheik” is a brand of condoms, he explains–“like Trojans.”
Some time after Jill returns to college, Sheik arrives at work to find that he has been unceremoniously replaced by a real singer, albeit one with no great talent. This humiliation makes Sheik self-aware of his almost non-existent opportunities for career success in any endeavor, and in response, he steals a car and makes the long drive from Miami to New York, propelled by the romantic notion of reuniting with Jill.
Baby It’s You (1983)
Directed by: John Sayles
Starring: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin, Jack Davidson, Dolores Messina, Leora Dana, Bill Raymond, Liane Curtis
Screenplay by: John Sayles
Production Design by: Jeffrey Townsend
Cinematography by: Michael Ballhaus
Film Editing by: Sonya Polonsky
Costume Design by: Franne Lee
Set Decoration by: Carol Nast
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: April 4, 1983