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In 1966 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. Written by
Philip Brubaker <email@example.com>
20th Century-Fox was supposed to finance the film, but unspecified differences with 'John Sayles (I)' led the studio to drop it. The film was financed independently, and Paramount bought it for distribution. See more »
When Sheik and Jill leave on their trip to the New Jersey shore, they cross a large bridge that has the slogan "Trenton Makes - The World Takes" on it. This bridge actually takes you from Trenton into Morrisville, Pennsylvania. See more »
Poignant, sweet, heartbreaking journey into the past
After finally getting a VHS copy of this film, I find it is ranked right up there with my all-time favorites. Perhaps you had to have lived in that time, or attended a big-city high school or just be an incurable romantic to relate.
Even though this film is 23 years old, the emotions, settings and tragedies of young, rudder-less love are universal and timeless. Is there any among we female viewers who has not either had or wanted to have a "Sheik" type pursue you? Dangerous, enigmatic and probably a big no-no, but extremely intriguing.
The film has many subtle nuances that younger audiences my not recognize since the scenes are not thrown at the viewer in quick-time, but the gentle, heart-wrenching moments with the main characters tend to stick in your mind. I will never listen to "Strangers in the Night" again without thinking of the two dance scenes and the emotions they evoke.
Spano and Arquette are outstanding as the two star-crossed leads and the acting is both understated and powerful in the same moment. When Jill tells Shiek she just doesn't love him in the dorm scene and he backs up and with a whipped look on his face asks, "why not?", his character is stripped of all pretenses.
Shop around for this video, as it is film making with heart like you don't find very often in the current film catalogs. Watch and remember and weep a little for what was and never could be.
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