Sugarbaby (1985)

“I spied on you, I tracked you down — and then I nailed you!”

A lonely, overweight mortuary employee (Marianne Sagebracht) falls obsessively in love with a handsome young subway driver (Eisi Gulp), and plots to ensnare him romantically.


Two years before his breakthrough film — Bagdad Cafe (1987) — writer/director Percy Adlon made this quirky comedy about an unlikely romantic couple. To his credit, Adlon’s screenplay goes in unexpected directions, with Sagebracht’s somewhat creepy stalking of Gulp resulting in joy rather than heartache; unfortunately, however, once Gulp has been successfully seduced, not enough happens until the final 5 minutes or so, when the movie ends on a frustratingly unresolved note. Also distracting is cinematographer Johanna Heer’s excessive use of color tinting, with most scenes literally saturated in hues of pink or blue. Although Sugarbaby appears to have been well-received by most critics (see review links below), I was disappointed. Remade in 1989 as a T.V. movie with Ricki Lake, called Babycakes.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Marianne Sagebrecht’s bold performance as Marianne
  • Eisi Gulp as Huber
  • Good use of an eclectic, synthesized soundtrack

Must See?
No, but fans of Adlon’s Bagdad Cafe will likely want to track this one down.


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