She's Gotta Have It (1986) Poster

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7/10
The Beginning
JonTMarin7 August 2004
"She's Gotta Have It" was the beginning of an illustrious career for filmmaker Spike Lee. It starred Tracy Camilla Johns as the sex driven Nola Darling. Her three men were played by Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell and Spike Lee. All the three men had certain traits that stood out. Jamie Street (Hicks) is cool, calm and caring towards Nola. Greer Childs (Terrell) was the obnoxious, stuck up, rude pseudo black man that thought he was better than anyone else. And last but not least was Mars Blackmon (Lee), he was funny and outgoing. Annoying at times but his wit could win you over. This film is full of memorable one liners like "please baby baby baby please" and much more. This film was heavily criticized for it's depiction of women (like all of Spike's films), lesbians (the character Opal) and the reality of it. But nonetheless, "She's Gotta Have It" opened in 1986 to rave reviews and grossed 7 million dollars (not a lot but it is amazing compared to the thousands it took to make it). What made this film a gem is that you don't find characters like these anymore. They all had something about them that was hard to resist. Mars Blackmon became so famous that he was reprised by Lee in Nike Air Jordan commercials with the great Michael Jordan, airing from 1988 to 1995 (the Nola character also appeared in one Air Jordan commercial with Mars Blackmon, the commercial only aired once). "She's Gotta Have It" is a decent start for a young filmmaker and a must see for those that haven't seen it.

She's Gotta Have It- Rated R *** out of ****
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Pretty Good Early Effort
Sargebri25 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
When I first heard about this film, I very much thought that it was going to be nothing more than a black t&a flick. However, I this film turned out to be an interesting character study, which looks not only at black sexuality, but at the way people look at different stereotypes of men and women. You had sensitive Jamie, arrogant Greer and space cadet Mars all chasing after one of the first truly sexually liberated women to ever be portrayed on the silver screen in Nola. This film also shows how when a man has a lot of sexual partners, they are pretty much looked at a stud, but if a woman has a lot of partners she is looked at as a nymphomaniac. This film pretty much takes those stereotypes and turns them around. The only negative criticisms I have is the fact that as the film goes on it tries to become a serious drama, especially in the scene when Jamie rapes Nola. Also, the film fails to address the idea of safe sex, especially since this film was released just as the AIDS crisis was really beginning to infect the black community. Other than those criticisms this was a pretty decent early effort from Spike Lee.
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A funny, feminist view of sex from Spike Lee
mizkwebb26 October 1999
This is a completely unique, humorous, sexy film from Spike Lee -- his first cinematic effort, using his friends from NYU film school as actors. He himself plays the role of eccentric Mars, one of heroine Nola darling's three lovers. Though I'm sure Lee wouldn't describe himself as a feminist, this film looks at so-called "promiscuity" from a distinctly liberated point of view. Perhaps women need more than one man, he wonders, because it takes several men to make up a complete person! The film is set in a rarely seen milieu, that of artistic, well-educated, middle-class, quirky urban African-Americans (like the view of black Chicago in "Love Jones"). It would be fascinating from that standpoint, even it if didn't display such ruefully witty characterizations of egotistical, clueless men.

You could spend an afternoon in far worse fashion than to rent this film, and view Lee's naked talent shining through in a film whose cost probably wouldn't pay the catering bill for one of his film projects these days. The fact that it is filmed almost entirely in black and white adds to its authenticity and charm.
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8/10
a tale that takes a feminist critique of a situation, and gives it a male viewpoint too
Quinoa198427 November 2006
I read one review on here that labeled She's Gotta Have it as Spike Lee's 'feminist view'. I would agree with this in part because he doesn't show anything- the characters really- on any one side. We see her follies completely. But I think there is a male view going on with his look at these characters too; after we see how a woman can be all liberated and free of being too restricted with who she wants to love/fool around with, there's more of a sympathy going on for the men too as the situation starts to come down to an essential thing- what does Nola REALLY want? By the end of the picture, no one can really say for certain, Nola most of all, but all the while Lee has given us a look at romance that is ordinary only in how some of the typical characteristics of men and women are portrayed at times. But really, it's also out of the ordinary on showing the little things that wouldn't get into the common romantic comedy. It's a little too loosely structured and the style isn't altogether great, but it has as much ambition as Scorsese's Who's That Knocking or Bertolucci's Before the Revolution, at least in trying to convey subject matter primarily through style.

Not to say the substance is left unchecked- in fact for the most part it's one of Lee's sharpest satires on the troubles of the sexes, and the main characters are a bit more believable than those of the main white/black couple of Jungle Fever. Lee boils it downs to seeming essentials at first- Nola (Tracy Camilla Johns, not bad at all if not as strong as the main 'heroine' could be) is a magazine painter, but really its her romantic life that keeps her usually occupied. We see the various attempts of various male 'pick-up lines' (which is pretty hilarious, if dated), and then we meet guy #1, Jamie (Tommy Hicks, maybe the best 'real' actor of the group), who is really the nice guy, the kind that any reasonable woman would consider probably marrying sooner or later. But she also has male #2, Greer (John Canada Turrell, with a great, shallow look to him if not overall performance), who is a male model who is meticulously egotistical even with folding up his clothes before sex. And then there's #3, Mars Blackmon (Lee himself, in uproariously huge glasses and his name etched out in gold across his neck, surely one of his most wonderful characters played by him), who is the jokester, and word-spinner, and always takes a while to get around in a conversation.

So around and around she goes, and it's really only until the last twenty minutes when Nola finally has to come down and make the decision- and it perhaps will have to come down to the 'right' decision- but for what she just can't tell. Part of it is that she just loves sex, which becomes a problem when she invites over the three men for thanksgiving (not a totally successful scene, mainly due to the dialog and pacing, but still a nice job in awkward tension). And also a problem when Jamie, the nice guy, makes an ultimatum for Nola. At the same time in the background there is the unusual tension of a possible lesbian affair with Opal (Raye Dowell, very good in her scenes), but nothing comes to it. Scenes like those, where the sexual and relationship-type boundaries come into question, are really interesting. The self-conscious talking-to-the-camera interview bits range from excellent to just OK though, and sort of mark the quality of the film down a peg, even as the characters get to share some of their inner thoughts (Lee's being the funniest).

What then makes Lee's film a big step above any other number of films out there, primarily in the Hollywood mainstream, about a woman who has trouble deciding what to do with herself? It's two things; one, that the men are probably just as interesting with what they have going on as her, if not more so for Jamie, and two, the cinematic techniques imposed by Lee and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson. The latter of those two helps make She's Gotta Have it even more of a light-hearted picture than it might have been if just filmed as the script is. We get the images first put to Lee's father Bill's score, which is definitely one of his best after Do the Right Thing. Then the images get a lot of invention on such a small budget, unusually intimate and creative camera angles (I loved the bit when we see in slow-motion the extreme close-ups of Mars getting close with Nola), the lighting often very expressionistic, and sometimes the editing going to playful, odd lengths like the sex scene between Nola and Greer. Sometimes the playfulness and first-time filmmaker amazement is a little much, like the color film sequence, which is beautiful but almost better self-contained than with the black & white grittiness of the rest of the film. I also could've done without the last bit after the denouement where all the actors say their names with the clapper. Nevertheless the stylistic merits add a lot to make it a richer film in context and structure.

But if you can seek it out, especially in widescreen (I saw it on IFC, though I wish I could see the director's cut to see what was cut out, however explicit it might be), it's well worth it. It's a small film, yet one that brings up some intriguing bits about what it means to really love someone vs. desire them, and what mind-games go on between men & women, men & men, women & women, and where the middle-ground could be, if at all. A minor independent/debut classic. A-
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5/10
Meh!
AhmedSpielberg9928 April 2019
I liked its "mockumentary" style at first, its vivid and bold direction, the acting in general, and a couple of moments and few scenes scattered throughout the movie. Other than that, I think that Spike Lee's directorial debut isn't half as good as it's important and interesting. It's approach to the story is blatantly heavy-handed, it has tons of dull, repetitive and self-indulgent moments, a lot of pacing issues, a predictable ending, and the three main male characters are quite perfunctory and skin-deep.

(5.5/10)
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10/10
One of the Best Spike Lee films
zardoz-133 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Spike Lee's low-budget, directorial debut "She's Gotta Have It" ranks as the outspoken African-American's helmer's best and least pretentious film. This modest but compelling portrait of single black woman Nola Darling qualifies as one of the greatest feminist films of the 1980s. The theme of women versus men dominates the action with the corresponding themes of women versus women and women versus society tangling for second place. The men fall back on the traditional precedents that society has established for women. Consequently, this melodrama exposes the sexual double-standard issue between men and women. Indeed, men cite dating multiple women as their masculine birthright, while a woman must only date one man at a time. "She's Gotta Have It" torpedoes that argument with its unorthodox heroine. Moreover, coming as it did on the last years of "blaxploitation" movie, Lee's film is refreshing different because none of the men are portrayed stereotypically as either pimps or drug dealers.

The cast, headed by Tracy Camilla Johns, is largely unknown, but they perform well in this simple, but powerful 84 minute melodrama that asks the audience to decide if the leading lady—Nola—is a freak. In other words, is Nola a slut because she has three boyfriends that she has sex with in her apartment in New York City. Lee makes excellent use of the technique of breaking the fourth wall—when the thespians address the audience by looking directly into the camera at us—and taking their argument to us. The heroine has a relationship with a romantically inclined lover Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a stuck-up, egotistical performer Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), and young, snappy street dude Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee). None of the three guys likes each other as they struggle to please Nola. One of Nola's apartment house neighbors is an attractive lesbian Opal Gilstrap (Raye Dowell of "Malcolm X") who tries without success to seduce Nola.
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9/10
Excellent Introduction to the Incomparable Spike Lee!!
RaiderJack25 February 2008
When reviewing all of Spike's work, this is hands down, probably my all-time favorite. This project introduced us to the incomparable Mars Blackman, Spike's oh so charming alter ego. "She's Gotta Have It" is a wonderful treatise on the art of love and war from interesting perspectives. On top of that, it is quite hilarious.

It is a refreshing look at a black woman who insists on taking control of her sexuality rather than allowing it to be defined by men. There are general male observations, general female observations, and specific cultural outlooks on the art of love and war from an African-American perspective.

Tracy Camilla Johns, beautifully portraying the wonderfully developed character, Nola Darling, is perfectly cast as the independent black woman who, in her quest to be sexually independent, realizes this is an uphill journey when dealing with men who still have traditional ideas about women and their roles. She was actively dating more than one man simply because she had adapted the attitude that no one man can provide everything she wanted/needed and furthermore, it was terribly unfair to label her promiscuous for doing so. Interestingly enough, Nola also found that her own reactions when coming up against the same attitude in men, were amazingly traditional.

This was a very well-written statement on the ups and downs of love. It also introduces us to Law & Order's Divine Epatha Merkerson in a short but pivotal role as a sex therapist.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeexcellent movie!!!
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9/10
Love that movie!
mansobravo1 October 2008
I'm a Spike Lee fan from way back but missed this one. Now I'm an old retired lady with plenty of time to catch up. All I can say is that this was a wonderful funny erotic comedy. I liked the way the characters introduced themselves, especially the former roommate who moved out because Nola was entertaining so many men, and all the men who announced their charms. If you wouldn't get a laugh watching Greer fold his clothes before sex, I don't know what would tickle you! Spike Lee himself as Mars reminds me of my Border Collie: playful, obnoxiously demanding, adoring, and never understanding why he can't be #1.

When Nola is convinced that she should consult a specialist for her addiction, she comes away with no resolution, but we are treated to a wonderful aside by the therapist.

The only thing that keeps this picture from a 10 rating is the sequence in color, which I though was trite and out of keeping of the rest of the movie.
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7/10
Spike Lee's beginnings.
lee_eisenberg20 March 2006
The world was introduced to Spike Lee with "She's Gotta Have It", about one Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) and her three lovers (Lee plays one of them). Everyone in the movie has their own kinds of shortcomings, but they're all honest people, all trying to make their way in the world. Spike Lee was clearly showing the talent that he would bring to his later movies.

I should remind you that this is not a movie for people with short attention spans. Most of it is very low-key, involving a lot of dialog. But it's a very impressive flick at that. Maybe this is mainly a flick for film buffs, but I recommend it to everyone.
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9/10
yo baby, baby, baby please baby baby please
usbobcat29 November 2001
Spike Lee's directoral debut is classic. How can he go wrong with a black and white film... BW is the best. This film is made up of great characters(Mars) and perfect, orginal direction. I think Spike did a great job with the editing too.. oh I almost forgot his screen debut as and actor too, which was perfect as well. A smile came to my face every time Mars came in the mix, especially the Thanksgiving scene. I love those glasses Spike. 9/10
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1/10
Sexist Film
kcfp-889-18703711 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I am always so shocked that people give this film such good reviews. It has to be one of the most sexist movies I've seen to date. The movie is supposed to be told through Darla's perspective (she states this in the beginning), but then the rest of the film is basically the guys take on Darla. Greer constantly puts her down racially, claiming that he could leave her for a white woman, Mars (ironically played by Spike Lee) talking negatively about her behind her back every chance he got.

She's distanced from all the women in her life (Opal, former roommate, psychiatrist) and is supposed to be sexually empowered. It is debatable if she really was, but she was put in her "proper place" at the end of the film. Jamie rapes her. It is this scene in the movie that is the most disturbing for me because many people just gloss over it and see nothing wrong with it. She said "Stop! You're hurting me!" That doesn't sound like a woman who's enjoying the intercourse she's engaged in. And aside from this disturbing scene, I certainly did not appreciate the borderline pornographic shots of her body. If you really wanna know what the film is about, listen to the lyrics of the song that the dancers perform to in the technicolor portion of the film.

This pattern of sexist ideologies is present in several of Spike Lee's films including "The Best Man" and "The Player's Club". Somebody needs to call him out on it and hold him to a higher standard. Just because he's a black director does not mean everything he does must be applauded.
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Spike Lee's Jewel
brianortiz22 April 2006
A lot of people have probably not heard of this movie but since Spike went on to become world renowned, A few more might get to view this jewel in their lifetime.

Spike is one of those iconic NYU students that created one of the funniest characters "Mars Blackman".

"She's gotta have it"... Created on an NYU budget, Filmed in Manhattan & Brooklyn, a psychological comedy about a women named "Nola" that dates three men for different meanings.

This film is really a Spike Lee jewel(if can track down the movie) IT'S A MUST SEE !!!

Spike is one of the most prolific artist of our time, thus "Do the right thing"
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7/10
You Gotta See It
ian_harris7 October 2002
Thoroughly enjoyable 90 minutes in the quirky company of Spike Lee and his cast of weirdos. The male characters (Nora's three lovers) are all inadequate in their way, so it is hardly surprising that Nora needs several such men to satisfy her.

If men behave the way Nora behaves, it is seen as a sign of virility, whereas Nora is more or less sent to the shrink because her behaviour is so out of line.

But this is mostly comedy so you can put aside the "is it feminist, is it misogynist?" stuff and enjoy it for what it is - an unusually good low budget movie.
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good low buget film
wwayners19 February 2004
I remember when this movie came out. Not Spikes first film but first to gain him some attention. A very refreshing black and white low budget movie, probably one of Spikes most dedicated and best work. All characters well developed and script carefully written. A good film to watch on a lazy Sunday, showing scenes of Brooklyn as it was in the 80s.
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7/10
Where it all began for Spike Lee
ToldYaSo20 July 1999
So I finally got around to seeing the debut from auteur Spike Lee. I felt as though I knew the film before seeing it after reading an interesting history about it in John Pierson's "Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes". If you're a fan of independent cinema, you should check out both the book and film.

Spike's familiar style and approach is evident in this early indication of a talented filmmaker. Whatever shortcomings that revealed themselves were largely unavoidable in such a low budget outing, and usually quickly forgivable.

The film's testimony approach often gave characters some depth and clearly gave the film a more intimate relationship with the audience, but at times hurt the film with some unfortunate bad acting from names you never heard before and probably never will again. Again, not Spike's fault. It does include one of my buddy's favourite pick-up lines, "Baby, I'd drink a whole tub of your bath water." I'm sure most women would appreciate that sentiment as the way to their heart.

Spike's sister and father have small roles which must say something about the man's admirable family pride. Of course, with many of his films, it seems Spike can't resist the allure of the space in front of the camera while controlling all that's behind it. Not many directors divide their energy in such a manner, but some of the most notorious directors of our time do. Whether this divides their focus in a negative aspect or not is difficult to say. But if it's a distraction or handicap, Spike seems to be managing fine

But even now I haven't stated either way if it's a good, recommendable film or not. It's largely in black and white, which is a turn off for non-film lovers. I once overheard some one say of "Schindler's List", "It's a really good film, even though it's black and white." I'm sure with some films the inclusion of colour can enhance the enjoyment of the film, but some things are not meant to be in colour, some things are better without it. Films like this one are only possible in black and white due to budget restraints. Whenever I see the efforts of some colourization nightmare, it makes my stomach turn, but I digress.

What can I say, I am a film lover, and I enjoyed it. If you fall in the same category, you probably will too.
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9/10
Fine First Effort
jessastro20 March 2007
Spike Lee's fist, and in many ways his best work. Simple, elemental, insightful, and funny. Beautifully shot in black and white the film is a true "New York/Brooklyn" movie that makes the most of the City, it's streets, and landmarks; with a wonderful soundtrack by his Dad, Jazz legend, Stan Lee. You have to remember that this was a small budget Indy film from a director who would later enjoy big budget successes.

When this movie first came out it had everyone buzzing about it and him; and it earned him the accolade: the up and coming Black Woody Allen in the New York press. (a statement that implied a unique "New York" perspective on the world, his intellect, his talent, and his humor; hopefully not also a parallel to the two men being rather short in physical stature....
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Spike's Best Film
newnoir28 July 2000
Spike Lee's first and still best film. It's filled with laughs, terrific characters and enough sex to fill ten movies! This film and others made Spike apart of what I call 'The Three Princes Of New York Filmmaking'. In other words, one of three premiere New York directors. The three princes in question are Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. High praise indeed!
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7/10
Spike Lee pipe dream
slaususe223 June 2000
The "she" that the movie title refers to, played by Traci Camilla Johns, is a beautiful, intelligent young black woman that also happens to be a nymphomaniac. While other people's beds are just places to sleep in, the lead character's bed is a shrine to be worshipped as evidenced by her propensity to adorn it with ceremonial candles. Her main sexual partners are a nerd (Spike), a wanna-be playboy, and a earnest young man who is actually interested in a relationship.

I appreciate that Spike helped blaze for other young black filmmakers with his very personal approach to film-making but I never could understand why luminaries like Terri McMillan were so impressed with this film. It's a self-indulgent Spike Lee pipe dream, at best, with characters that I found it hard to care about. Why would a woman as fine as Traci Camilla Johns include a character as annoying as Spike's character among her lovers? After two hours, I thought I would at least have a better understanding of why "she has to have it", but alas that wasn't the case.

The real value in watching this movie to me is observing how much the talented Lee has progressed since then. It's not bad movie, just uneven. It's unfortunate Spike didn't really put the alluring Ms. Johns to much use in future films. 7 out of 10.
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5/10
Interesting film that has its problems
kristenwthomas11 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The atmosphere of Brooklyn adds a lot of life and realism to the story. I think the characters were interesting to watch and it had some fun moments. But the rape scene seemed to come out of nowhere, didn't add to the story, and was done very flippantly. I also don't like how Jamie is still portrayed as a decent guy and the movie continues as if nothing happened. I was glad to see Nola choose to not be tied to monogamy at the end of the film, as none of these men are real 'catches'. I like how it goes against the grain of the Hollywood ending and the expectation that women need a relationship to be fulfilled.
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7/10
It's Really Abou Control, My Body, My Mind. Who Was Going to Own It? Them? or Me? I'm Not a One-Man Woman. Bottom Line...
thomasmitilis19959 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
PROS: ~The film takes a refreshing and feministic look at a black woman who insists on taking control of her sexuality rather than allowing it to be defined by men. The message is thought-provoking even for today standards because there is a general notion that a man who dates more than one woman isn't something blamable but the opposite leads to disrespectful characterizations against women. Tracy Camilla Johns is perfectly cast as Nola dealing with men who still have traditional ideas about women and their roles. She is just a human being trying to find her way and her desire is to find something to complete her. ~The film succeeds at the same time in giving a male point of view about women. Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Hicks) is a caring and nice guy who has interest in a serious relationship. He pictures Nola as the perfect family woman and can't stand seeing his patience being rewarded. Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell) is obsessed with his physique and has a big idea for himself but in reality he is a caricature of middle-class prudery. He wants to mold Nola and makes disrespectful comments when he doesn't like something in her. There is a scene that highlights his shallowness where he spends a couple of minutes folding his clothes before making sex. Mars Blackmon (played perfectly by Lee himself who reprises his role in a commercial for Nike) is a boyish, mouthed guy with huge glasses and a gold across around his neck. He believes that Nola will never have fun with someone else. In other worlds, each of them sees her as a trophy indicating that they suffer from a lot of insecurities. ~The documentary style and the breaking of fourth wall make the characters more honest and reinforce their personality. The segment with the men wanting to date Nola shows the sexist attitude that men sometimes demonstrate. Furthermore, the black and white is utilized perfectly in the love scenes. In other words, the directorial debut of Spike Lee was groundbreaking and impressive. ~The camera work is beautiful and depicts Brooklyn with a great detail. The jazz score is wonderful and gives jazzy vibes as it is actually orchestrated by his Lee's father.

CONS: ~The dinner scene is very unrealistic. It is kind of awkward that Nola manages to gather all her lovers and there is no point for doing this. ~From my point of view I don't like the ending. It is nice that nobody of the three guys is chosen because they preety much represent male archetypes. I don't obviously criticize Nola for her free sexuality (that's the point of the movie anyway) but she seems like she doesn't learn something from her experiences and she will repeat the same mistakes. It is incomprehensible why Lee chooses to include a rape scene and after have the characters talk to each other like nothing horrible has happened. ~The dancing sequence is a little off-putting and the use of color is useless.
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7/10
Raw, and a Bit Edgy
gavin694216 June 2016
The story of Nola Darling's simultaneous sexual relationships with three different men is told by her and by her partners and other friends. All three men wanted her to commit solely to them; Nola resists being "owned" by a single partner.

The New York Times wrote that the film "ushered in (along with Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise) the American independent film movement of the 1980s. It was also a groundbreaking film for African-American filmmakers and a welcome change in the representation of blacks in American cinema, depicting men and women of color not as pimps and whores, but as intelligent, upscale urbanites." Although my feelings on Spike Lee are mixed, I have to say this is a decent film. I love that the message is a hard one to swallow -- that a man can date three women at the same time, but if a woman does it, she is a "freak" or a "nympho" or something. This was a bold thing in 1986 and it remains a bold thing in 2016. Strong, independent, sexual women are a scary thing... will this ever change? (And, we may as well ask, should it ever change?)
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5/10
Okay first at bat
pmtelefon12 December 2019
If it wasn't for the nudity, there wouldn't be much of a reason to watch "She's Gotta Have It". It's an interesting movie up to a point. Director/writer Spike Lee does have a good visual eye but the dialogue and acting are a bit stiff. The non-stop music is also a demerit. Film critic Leonard Maltin thought the best part of the movie was the color scene. I disagree. I thought it was the weakest. Even with a short running time (84 mins), "She's Gotta Have It" wears out its welcome after a while. Unless you're a big fan of Spike Lee's movies, there's no reason to watch this movie a second time.
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6/10
Her body, her mind, her choice
MarcoParzivalRocha16 December 2020
The story of Nola, a young African American woman, and her three loves, of which she can't choose just one.

Being a Spike Lee film, it has a critical sense about the racial issue, implicit since the beginning, but being the first film by the American director, this criticism was not yet refined, as in his subsequent work.

It's a predictable film, as we get to know the characters, it becomes obvious the direction that the story will take, which takes away some enthusiasm, in a clear excess of personality study, which mischaracterizes the cast.

It' a woman's view about sexual freedom and the power of choice, and how that choice can influence male behavior (a clear criticism of patriarchy and male privilege).
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8/10
Good comedy! Would recommend
markfinelli2 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The story behind this movie, "She's Gotta Have It," is all about a woman named Nora Darling. She did quite a good job acting, along with all the the other actors. The story itself was very good and I would say realistic. There was only one complaint I would have about this movie, but other then that I would definitely recommend.

This movie is all about how Nora doesn't want to settle down or be a one man woman. From a watchers experience, the movie lets you really get to know Nora and the three men who she talks to on the regular. She will not let herself be tied down to any of them. She has a free sexuality and allows herself to understand and get to know all three of the men, who are Jamie, Greer, and Mars. The one thing that bothered me quite a bit about this movie was the scene of her being raped. If a woman is screaming "STOP!" and "It hurts", then a man should stop, and if they continue to have intercourse then that is rape. Nora kind of goes on like nothing ever happened and doesn't seem to learn from her mistakes.

I think I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is a very good comedy with great actors. The movie shows a very strong Black woman who goes through life not wanting to be completely tied down.
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8/10
Fantastic debut from Spike Lee
gbill-7487722 October 2020
"It's about control. My body, my mind. Who was gonna own it? Them? Or me? I am not a one-man woman."

A young woman with a healthy appetite for sex (Tracy Camilla Johns) has three lovers vying for her, each with a very different demeanor. There's a polite, respectful guy (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a narcissist who looks down on fat girls and people in the ghetto (John Canada Terrell), and a skinny guy who loves clowning around (Spike Lee). There's also a lesbian who encourages her to experiment (Raye Dowell).

I liked how the film is unapologetic about the main character's sexuality, and Johns' presence. Her acting is a little detached, but she has an easy confidence about her, and her short afro alone seems to make a quiet statement. The three men in the film are shown to be hypocrites, as they have other lovers too, and even the polite one shows he can be a real bastard towards the end (there is such pain in that line, "you're hurting me.") There is a sequence of men (credited as Dog #1 to #12) shown delivering their lame pickup lines which seems to really channel a female point of view.

The film challenged the mainstream with its feminism, and also in simply showing black people in these roles, and not the usual stereotypes from white Hollywood (e.g. gang members, crooks, pimps, etc). From the beginning credits introducing the 40 Acres and a Mule production company (named of course for the broken promise after the Civil War), the quote from Zora Neale Hurston, and the still photos of people around Brooklyn, Spike Lee makes it clear that he's representing people who have been underrepresented. In addition to the relationship conflicts and moments of humor, the film makes comments on class and race, topical references to celebrities and NBA players, and very direct references to the issue of wrongful police killing decades before it was broadly acknowledged.

The quality of the visuals in this film are strong, and even more impressive given its small budget and how quickly it was shot (apparently just 12 days). The sequence that bursts forth into color ala The Wizard of Oz is creative and Lee was bold to include it in a film that was doing so many other things. The script is good overall but a little uneven in the middle, and the quality of the audio at times wavers. It's a very strong first film though, signaling the arrival of one of the great filmmakers of this generation.
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