Song of the Day #5,355: ‘Be My Baby’ – The Ronettes

Continuing the countdown of my favorite 2022 movies…

Best Films of 2022
#6 – Barbarian

In this age of ubiquitous social media, advance press, and spoiler-filled trailers, it’s almost impossible to be surprised at the movies anymore.

The sad epitome of this dynamic came with Spider-Man: No Way Home, where not only was the participation of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield spoiled months in advance, fans even pieced together some of the film’s dramatic beats by analyzing the trailer.

I’m sure it’s possible to go into a new movie with zero advance knowledge if you try hard enough, but for somebody who consumes entertainment culture as much as I do, it rarely happens.

That’s one reason writer-director Zach Cregger’s Barbarian was such a delight. The film was brilliantly marketed, relying on word-of-mouth and a trailer that cleverly hid all of its surprises. Going in, all I knew was that the film featured a young woman double-booked in an Airbnb with the guy who played Pennywise in It.

The casting of Bill Skarsgård as the seemingly charming man, oh so apologetic and accommodating when Tess (Georgina Campbell) shows up at the rental house on a rainy night, is a masterstroke. Knowledgeable movie fans are instantly suspicious, waiting for the moment this guy is going to spring his trap. That turns the movie’s first 20 minutes, which are essentially a meet-cute worthy of an indie romcom, into an exercise in escalating tension.

That first act culminates with a gonzo bit of shock horror, then a smash cut to a completely new setting and a completely new vibe. It’s the most glorious WTF moment of the year, one that leaves you wondering if the projector somehow glitched and fired up an entirely different movie.

We’re introduced to Justin Long who, in another brilliant piece of casting, subverts his nice-guy persona to play a Hollywood douchebag facing accusations of sexual assault. How this story ties into the movie’s first act becomes clear before too long, and leads to some laugh-out-loud moments as well as some seriously icky ones.

Cregger, in his solo debut as writer-director, displays a mastery of tone and staging. This film reminds me a lot of Jordan Peele’s Get Out and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, like Peele, Cregger got his start as a comic performer (he’s a co-founder of the sketch show The Whitest Kids U’ Know).

Barbarian is a roller coaster of a movie. It makes you laugh and scream as you anticipate every twist, dip and dive. And like the best roller coasters, it leaves you dizzy and exhilarated and eager to take the ride all over again.

[Verse 1]
The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go
So won’t you say you love me?
I’ll make you so proud of me
We’ll make ’em turn their heads every place we go

So won’t you, please (Be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (Be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (My one and only baby)

[Verse 2]
I’ll make you happy, baby, just wait and see
For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you three
Oh, since the day I saw you
I have been waiting for you
You know I will adore you till eternity

So won’t you, please (Be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (Be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (My one and only baby)

[Cello Bridge]

So c’mon and be (Be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (Be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (My one and only baby)

[Drum Solo]

(Be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Oh-oh-oh (Be my, be my baby)
Oh (My one and only baby)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh (Be my, be my baby)
Oh-oh-oh (My one and only baby)
Oh (Be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (My one and only baby)

6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,355: ‘Be My Baby’ – The Ronettes

  1. Peg says:

    I usually don’t watch horror movies but I saw this one based on your high praise and was glad I did. It’s certainly not in my top ten, and I was glad it was streaming instead of seeing it in the theater.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    To paraphrase Chris Rock, you know, there IS a way to go into movies without knowing spoilers… Amy is a pretty big consumer of entertainment news, but makes a conscious effort to avoid reading or seeing things so that she can enjoy a movie or TV show as it was intended to be seen. Of course, a major exception for her is anything horror related, in which case she must know every twist and turn to get through the movie or, as was the case with this movie, decide that she absolutely had no interest in seeing it— which means I might have to see it without her, though I don’t know if I would really hold it in as high regard as my newly horror fanboy brother-in-law.

  3. Amy says:

    Sometimes the spoilers I seek out for a film such as this one increase my confidence that the discomfort I might feel during the viewing is worth the value of the artistic expression and provocative ideas being presented. Other times I’m happy to have the excuse to skip the fil/show in question.

    Barbarian was a case of the latter experience, though I can understand why having your expectations subverted at every turn could be exhilarating.

    Not being a horror fan, I knew nothing of Bill Skarsgard from It and, instead, have a positive association of him from Nine Days, the wonderful film your blog turned me on to last year that became one of my top films of the year.

    Similarly to your experience viewing RRR, I wonder if being new to films like these heightens your appreciation of them.

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I completely agree with what you’re saying about trailers and promos for movies completely spoiling the fun of getting to truly discover a movie in the theater. This is something that I think another one of my favorite horror films from last year, “The Menu”, commented on so perfectly. The whole concept of that movie to me was that people go to the restaurant (aka theater) with so many preconceptions about what it is that they would like to see presented in front of them that they don’t allow themselves to truly be taken in by the menu (aka movie).

    I, unfortunately, missed the theatrical run of “Barbarian” so I wasn’t able to uncover this absolute gem alongside a captive audience. Instead, I had the absolute joy of sitting on my couch in the middle of the day without any prior knowledge other than a couple strong recommendations and cherish this film. You speak to the strength of this film which is how it subverts so many horror movie viewer expectations about how certain events will transpire or how certain archetypes might act. There are so many moments of this film that are simply delightful and others that are quite pensive. Thank you to you and your family for encouraging me towards this film in the first place and I share the placement of it in my top 10 of last year!

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