Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Baby It's You

How is it that we gravitate toward a particular appearance or personality in potential mates? The upshot is I prefer guys looking the polar opposite of me and gal friends resembling spitting images. Have you ever looked at a picture of a stranger and known for a fact that if the opportunity to meet presented itself, mutual attraction would develop and flourish? I have always been drawn to males possessing dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin and while I’m sure part of it is a case of opposites attracting, I also think growing up in ethnic Cleveland surrounded for the most part by sexy Italians constantly grabbing my attention and setting my heart ablaze had something to do with it.

Several years ago I stumbled across the old '80s flick, "Baby It’s You" and everything just clicked into place. While this is not the greatest movie ever released, it was the diametrically opposite couple that held my attention. The Sheik (Vincent Spano) was broody, dangerous, and reeked of smoldering Mediterranean sexuality, and I totally understood the inexorable pull this handsome bad boy exerted on goody-goody Rosanna Arquette. With some minor changes, this showcased and magnified my formative school years in a nutshell.

The cut and dried plot summary explains:

In New Jersey, Jill Rosen, a frustrated high schooler, is intrigued by an enigmatic new student known only as the Sheik. Sheik is an Italian whose primary interests are his car, Frank Sinatra, and Jill. At first she is taken aback by his forwardness, but they soon develop a relationship, much to the chagrin of their parents. Sheik gets expelled from school, and Jill is accepted at an all-girls college. After a fight, Sheik goes to Florida to work in a club lip-synching Sinatra songs. Sheik becomes dissatisfied with his Florida lifestyle and goes back to New Jersey to try to win Jill over.

While that insipid quote is factual and straightforward, the underlying appeal of this movie is better clarified by a user commenter hailing from New York:

In the course of the movie, the on-again, off-again romance between them -which features all the quirkiness and unpredictability of most high-school romances, and then some- lights up, sputters, then heats up again. Free of sci-fi special effects or surrealistic flashbacks, this is a movie for people who love and believe in "romance" in the truest sense of the word - that one brief "Camelot"-like time when two people from different backgrounds and even worlds light up the world for each other, even though they sense it will end all too soon.

Maybe this helps explain the beaming smile on my face when SD, though not of Italian origin, signs off with ‘Ciao Bella.’ ;)

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