American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Rosanna Arquette has a way about her. She's a natural actress, and by that I don't mean she was born talented (although perhaps she was), but that she is able to appear on screen with such an unaffected natural quality that I feel as if I'm looking past the script and direction and actually experiencing the life of her character.
That's the feeling I got during "Baby, It's You," a sometimes very good, sometimes disappointingly uneven movie that she carries from beginning to end. Even when her scenes aren't working, her character is, and we're getting to know this young woman she plays, this Jill Rosen, who turns from an uncommonly engaging high school student to a scared-stiff college freshman.
The movie is by John Sayles, who is building a career for himself out of the carefully observed events that make up ordinary lives. His first film was "Return of the Secaucus Seven," about some 35ish survivors of the 1960s. Earlier this year he released "Lianna," about a 35ish faculty wife who discovers, with fear and some anticipation, that she is a lesbian.
Now here is Jill Rosen, a high school student from the 1960s who could, we suspect, easily grow up to be any of the women in Sayles' first two films.