"The way I figure it, there's only three people in the world that matter: Jesus Christ, Frank Sinatra, and me."
- Sheik (Vincent Spano) to Jill Rosen (Rosanna Arquette)
New York Times - 03/25/1983
"...[Sayles'] characteristically witty precision....A labor of love for everyone involved."
Variety - 03/09/1983
"...It's Rosanna Arquette who makes BABY IT'S YOU persistently watchable...Arquette is clearly one of the sexiest young actresses on the screen today and her exceedingly alive performance shows great potential..."
Box Office - 06/01/1998
"...The sure hand at work in this simple but expansive chronicle makes this a documentary almost anyone can relate to..."
USA Today - 09/15/1989
"...Equally memorable Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano play mismatched Jersey teens who manage to strike romantic sparks in high school..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2008
"Michael Ballhaus' luminous photography is a definite plus, though ultimately it's the performances -- especially Arquette's -- that are the film's strongest suit."
Like GREASE without the song and dance, BABY IT'S YOU is a coming-of-age story about two mismatched lovers--Jill (Rosanna Arquette), a popular Jewish student about to go to college, and Sheik (Vincent Spano), an Italian trashman's son nicknamed after a condom brand. Beginning with the characters' love affair in a New Jersey high school in the 1960s, the film doesn't stop at senior prom night; instead, the film follows their complicated relationship as Jill goes to a woman's college and Sheik attempts to make it as a singer in Florida. The film, which director John Sayles considers one of his most autobiographical, was the first picture he made with financing from a major studio. After viewing Sayles's cut of the film, Paramount wanted to reedit the film to focus only on the characters' romance in high school. Sayles threatened to take his name off the project, and after the studio cut of the film did not test better with focus groups, his version of the film prevailed. Featuring Arquette in her first starring role, BABY IT'S YOU is an unsentimental look at one cross-class relationship.
Jill was everything from senior class president, drama club president, to editor of the newspaper. Sheik was a woodshop monitor. Two very different students, they still fall in love. John Sayles's film is a vivid portrait of first love during the 1960s.
Campus Life |
Filmed on location in Cliffside Park, Hoboken, and Newark, New Jersey,) and Miami, Florida.
Paramount wanted director John Sayles to cast Maxwell Caulfield, the star of GREASE 2, in the role of Sheik.
The budget of $3 million allowed Sayles to spend much more on music than in his previous film. Much of the music, like Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night," is music that could be heard in the 1960s. However, the soundtrack also includes a couple of Bruce Springsteen songs ("It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" and "She's the One"). Sayles later created the videos for several Springsteen songs ("Born in the U.S.A.," "I'm on Fire," and "Glory Days").
BABY IT'S YOU includes one of the first screen appearances of Robert Downey, Jr.