“We’re not in high school anymore!”
An aspiring lounge singer (Vincent Spano) pursues an aspiring actress (Rosanna Arquette) in high school, and they embark upon a rocky relationship. When Jill (Arquette) enters college and Sheik (Spano) heads to Miami, however, their differences are accentuated even further.
This character-driven film by independent director John Sayles is a realistic, often uncomfortable look at the difficulties inherent in cross-class romances. Jewish, upper-middle-class Jill and Italian, working-class “Sheik” couldn’t be more different, yet Jill is intrigued by Sheik’s tenacity, and Sheik is — for some reason — convinced that Jill is the love of his life. As in Alan J. Pakula’s The Sterile Cuckoo, Jill and Spano ultimately want different things out of their budding romance: Jill (like Jerry in Cuckoo) simply goes along with the experience, while the desperate Sheik (Pookie’s counterpart) is obsessed with holding on at all costs.
Many reviewers have complained about Sayles’ unorthodox choice to follow Jill and Sheik beyond high school — yet Sayles has never been one to stick to conventional narrative arcs, and his choice is an effective one here. Baby It’s You isn’t meant to be a happily-ever-after teen romance between two unlikely souls — instead, it succinctly demonstrates the ways in which love can be blind, sex doesn’t necessarily correlate with love, and life rarely wraps itself up neatly in a bow.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Rosanna Arquette’s remarkably natural performance as Jill
- Vincent Spano as the tenacious Sheik
- An effective portrayal of the difficulties inherent in cross-class romance
Yes, simply for Arquette’s stand-out performance. Peary lists this film in the back of his book as both a Cult Movie and a Personal Recommendation.