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  Baby It's You Life Is What Happens To You When You're Busy Making Other Plans
Year: 1983
Director: John Sayles
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin, Jack Davidson, Marta Kober, Tracy Pollan, Matthew Modine, Robert Downey Jr
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the 1960's, Jill (Rosanna Arquette) is a nice Jewish girl who gets involved with the Sheik (Vincent Spano), a snappy-dressing Italian boy from the other side of the tracks. How will their relationship last past high school?

You know how "Baby It's You" by the Shirelles is a really nice record until the terrible organ solo two thirds of the way through? Well this film isn't about that. It's a perceptive coming-of-age drama written by John Sayles; since American Graffiti there have been quite a few nostalgic movies with old records on the soundtrack, such as Stand By Me or The Wanderers, but unlike them this film is more bitter than bittersweet.

The prom night, for example, doesn't see Jill and the Sheik romantically dancing together, but a robbery and one of Jill's friends slashing her hands. Both leads are excellent, but Arquette especially so, whether being the popular girl in school or trying to fit in at college. Some highlights include: Arquette miming to "Stop! In the Name of Love", the "kidnapping", the reason the Sheik got his name and the "weird request" at the end.

Jill wants to be an actress and the Sinatra-loving Sheik has aspirations to be a singer, but it doesn't look like either will fulfil their dreams. Basically what the film is saying is that, by and large, life is a crushing disappointment, but some of the music is all right. So there you go. Also with: Robert Downey Jr. Try to ignore: the out-of-place Bruce Springsteen songs interrupting the oldies.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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John Sayles  (1950 - )

American writer and director, whose independent films are strong on social and cultural relationships. He got his break writing exploitation movies for Roger Corman: Piranha, The Lady in Red, Alligator and Battle Beyond the Stars, and went on to direct his first feature, Return of the Secaucus Seven.

A career as a writer (The Howling, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute) and script doctor financed his subsequent movies: lesbian love story Lianna, romance Baby It's You, offbeat sci-fi The Brother from Another Planet, union drama Matewan, baseball scandal Eight Men Out, ensemble piece City of Hope, Lone Star, Men with Guns, survival adventure Limbo, Sunshine State, political satire Silver City and war drama Amigo. Also in small roles as an actor (Something Wild, Malcolm X, Matinee).

 
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