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Baby It's You (1983)

Rosanna Arquette , Vincent Spano , John Sayles  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin, Matthew Modine, Robert Downey Jr.
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Writers: John Sayles, Amy Robinson
  • Producers: Griffin Dunne, Amy Robinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Legend Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0019UGY96
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Baby It's You" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sexy Rosanna Arquette sparkles, and Vincent Spano is brilliant in John Sayles' fresh and funny comedy about a pair of opposites who definitely attract! Set in the tumultuous '60s, and featuring a classic rock and roll soundtrack, Baby It's You crafts a vivid portrait of young love in a complex era. Also featuring a star turn by Robert Downey, Jr.


Discovering the films of John Sayles on DVD has been a rewarding experience. The prolific writer-director has averaged a feature about every 1.5 years since 1980, when his highly regarded Return of the Secaucus Seven surprised everyone. Sayles' films play as more heartfelt and 'real' than similarly themed movies made around the same time. Secaucus is less glitzy than The Big Chill and The Howling has a lot more going for it than An American Werewolf in London. And nobody has made films as passionate about their subjects as Lianna, Matewan (where's that DVD?), Lone Star and Casa de los babys.

Sayles' third feature Baby It's You becomes a real winner once one gets beyond the unimaginative title. It's sort of an anti-American Graffiti, the story of one teenager's passage from high school to college in the odd years of the late 1960s. Sayles wrote it from a story by his producer, Amy Robinson (After Hours, From Hell). The inspired casting offers the first film starring roles for Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano, and they make an intriguing couple.

Rosanna Arquette's Jill is a nice, ambitious girl with good social skills and a sharp mind. She knows what she wants, and even her parents give her a wide berth. She nabs the lead in the school play around the same time she attracts the attention of the baddest boy on campus, Sheik. The guy is fashion-themed at all times and has an attitude a mile thick; he wanders the halls and thinks nothing of breaking into classes to talk to Jill. And they aren't even boyfriend and girlfriend yet.

Sayles' script is edgy and unpredictable: crime isn't punished directly and high hopes are sometimes flattened by reality, just as in real life. Sheik appears to hang out with local wiseguys and acts like a hood, but he and his scuzzy friend 'Rat' (Gary McCleery) are rank amateurs at crime. Emotionally erratic to the point of being frightening, Sheik attempts to scare Jill into being his girlfriend, just the kind of immature stunt one might expect. He ends up winning her with the intensity of his attentions, and his flair for romance […]

College turns out to be a complete reversal, when Jill realizes that she's no longer a special case, or the smartest girl in school. Her acting dream goes poof and she makes social mistakes, like getting roaring drunk (and then sick) with a group of her friends, leading her date (Matthew Modine) to assume that she's easy. Other women in her dorm prove to be cynics or snobs and one girl goes quietly insane, and nobody seems to care. Jill is disillusioned. She's in danger of losing some of the spark of youth, even though she's barely begun to live.

Like Nicolas Cage in Peggy Sue Got Married, Sheik has unrealistic dreams of a show business career based on image rather than talent. He talks a good line but takes it hard when his hopes vanish. Still a punk, Sheik steals a car and hightails it from Florida to Jill's northern college, just in time to rescue her self-esteem. Sheik is broke, but he's got his tuxedo and can serve as a last-chance prom date. What they missed in high school, they might be able to straighten out in their lives to come.

Sayles has a great cameraman (Michael Ballhaus) helping him to float this very well produced movie -- the locations, actors and direction are exceptional. Sayles also has a good sense for using music. […] Vincent Spano is certainly good but it's Rosanna Arquette's movie. She's heartbreakingly on target as the smart girl who discovers that she's made a commitment to the oddest guy she ever met.

The interpersonal details are what makes Baby It's You work so well. […] Despite the 'R' rating, it's a real movie, not a 'coming of age' sex romp. I'm very glad I caught up with it. --Glenn Erickson of

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance, Angst, Fun, Nostalgia, 60's Soundtrack February 3, 2002
By Randall
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I have watched this movie several times over the years. It is a sleeper hit in my opinion-- a story of ending high school and heading for college, at least for the female lead, whereas her boyfriend is not college material and tries to make it as a club singer. They try to have a romance, though they have differences, but because they are both scared of their new lives they keep trying to hold on to one another. I can not put my finger on it, but I really like this movie. The soundtrack is great too, with songs of the 60's. This is not a movie with high drama or special effects-- but the script is great in my opinion, for anyone who remembers the struggles and romance of high school, and the fears and struggles of starting out in college or elsewhere after graduation.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably surpising move! September 18, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I flipped on the television and got sucked into this movie half way through. Had no idea what I was watching and thought it was a light hearted cheesy movie from the late 70's/early 80's. Boy was I wrong! This movie absolutely blew me away. I was not at all suprised to learn John Sayles (Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish) had directed it. A fabulous depiction of teenage life and self discovery. I have never seen people of this age portrayed so accurately. I can not get Vincent Spano's performance out of my mind. He reminds me of so many of the dumb, yet loveable (but sometimes "dangerous") boys I dated as a young girl. It almost gives me the creeps - and yet, keeps me rivoted. I do not understand why it is that Vincent Spano has not become a bigger box office draw. He is an amazing actor with great range in everything I've seen him in and also very physically attractive. Boggles the mind why he hasn't been in more movies. And Rosanna Arquette gives an amazing performance as well as a young girl just realizing what she wants out of life but unable to break away completely from her youth. PHENOMENAL!!! I immediately went out and bought this movie on eBay - I have to watch it again and again. Not at all what I expected on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb period piece, yet timeless, August 20, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of my all time favorite movies... sometimes the film makers just get it; the dialogue is right, the feel is right... we baby boomers can relate to something here... an age of innocence story, early 60's; where you still didn't have to take life all that seriously (pre-Vietnam); almost another Dinks Stover at Yale / Lawrenceville time in the World. Everything about this movie is on... the language is just right... the early 60's elitism, as per Matthew Modine's role and Tracy Pollen really hit its right. and Rosanna Arquette as the good-hearted girl from Trenton, who can still show affection for the "Sheik" and humility too... this movie is a gem. If only they could get the price down to under $20.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undiscovered Gem November 16, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of John Sayles's earliest works that slipped by
most people. It is set in the late 60's in New Jersey and
depicts a high school romance between an upper class brainy
beauty , Jill Rosen ( Roseanna Arquette ) and a lower class
greaser, the Sheik (Vincent Spano). It documents an unlikely
but plausible courtship and breakup. The performances are uniformly perceptive and it even has several Bruce
Springsteen tunes from before he became an American icon.
What struck me the most was the transition from the 1960's high school preppy scene to the college hippie scene. It
is the best depiction of the late 1960's college life I have
ever seen.
After their breakup, Jill attends an elite northeastern
private woman's college and the Shiek travels to Miami to follow his show business dream and also wash dishes in a nightclub. Their attempted reunion at Jill's college is
sweet but poignant ; there is no future for them together. I would really
like to see their characters 20 years later. I would suspect
Jill was an unhappy, divorced attorney and the Sheik was
an unhappy union official with a fat Italian wife and five
kids. Sayles really captured that moment in young adult
life where you are totally unsure about everything. To me , the
film is the closest thing to Splendor in the Grass. Grab
it now on VHS as it is not available on DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I still smile when I think of this film December 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film during its first, and probably last run. I thought it was wonderful at the time and would love to see it again. At first glance it has some of the attributes of a teen movie, such as Pretty in Pink, but don't be fooled. The characters are drawn with a harsher hand. The backdrop: coming of age in America, boy meets girl, class clash. If you get the chance, watch it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baby It's Great May 22, 2012
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film when it first came out, and it was love at first viewing. I have always liked John Sayles; whether his medium is film or print, he's an amazing storyteller.

This is the bittersweet coming-of-age tale of two star-crossed teenagers growing up in 1960's New Jersey. Jill Rosen (Rosanna Arquette) is a privileged Jewish girl destined for one of the Seven Sisters colleges and, eventually, marriage to someone with a future. Albert ("Sheik") Capadalupo is a working-class Italian boy who reveres Frank Sinatra and drives around with his best friend in a hotrod called the Ratmobile. (And yes, there's a story behind Sheik's nickname.) At first, their romance is thrilling: Sheik is madly in love with Jill, and Jill finds bad-boy Sheik exciting.

But when Jill goes off to college, the dynamics of their relationship change. Sayles does this really well: the characters outgrow each other, or rather the environment that propelled their relationship, and they have to find new common ground...if it exists.

Sayles is also a Springsteen fan, and he incorporates a song from each of Bruce's first four albums, in order. Springsteen's music, along with other selections, make this a good soundtrack, too.

Parts of this movie are funny, parts are sad, but it's all compelling. It is just as poignant as "Breaking Away" and "Stand by Me", though those are buddy flicks and this is a romantic drama. Watch for it on TV or buy a copy and hook up your old VCR. It's a treasure.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this gem...
Love this movie. Saw it when it was released in theaters in the early 80's and, though the pacing was somewhat slow, I kept thinking of this film for weeks afterward. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kelly E Seagle
4.0 out of 5 stars Good John Sayles movie, but some music has been changed
Baby It's You is John Sayles 1983 movie take on the 1960's with a Jewish Rosanna Arquette hooking up with working-class Italian Catholic Vincent Spano. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. J. Shire
3.0 out of 5 stars just OK
I remember seeing this movie when it came out. For some reason I thought it was better, my memory must be failing LOL.
Published 5 months ago by michelle solitro-fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars love this movie
I had been looking everywhere for this movie as it is one of my all time favorites! So happy to find it here!!
Published 9 months ago by Janine
5.0 out of 5 stars "Singing My Life with His Words"
I didn't think it was possible for someone to make a film about "neverwithoutespresso," the early years, but here it is. Read more
Published 10 months ago by neverwithoutespresso
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to sink back into the chair and relish your own life
Sometimes, for some people, high school is not the best years of their lives but some of the most troubling. Read more
Published 10 months ago by c. bautista
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool movie
I haven't seen this movie since 1989-90. This is a classic that I can't wait to share with my friends. It brought back so many memories.
Published 20 months ago by Jesse K. Dotson
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
A wonderful story of first love; the actors were great. I had heard about this movie but had not seen it. Well worth watching.
Published 22 months ago by Diane Gibson
3.0 out of 5 stars do opposites attract
i have to say this was not one of my favorite 80's was o.k.,but it didn't have that flare lots of movies in that era did. Read more
Published 22 months ago by thunderunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Offbeat and fun
Today this would be a summer sleeper, like Dirty Dancing, and I like both movies for the same reason. They are not typical romance movies. Read more
Published on September 27, 2012 by sleeper
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