Joe Brooks and Shelley in If Ever I See You Again, 1978
Shelley's first starring role was in the 1978 film If Ever I See You Again. Joseph Brooks, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, hand-picked Shelley for the role of Jennifer Corly. When Shelley came to audition for the role, Joe knew he had found his Jennifer and immediately cast her. He also wanted Shelley to wear her glasses during filming. The movie didn't fare well at the box office, but it did spawn the monster hit song If Ever I See You Again by Roberta Flack.