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She's Gotta Have It

R 1986 1h 24m Romance Comedy List
94% Tomatometer 33 Reviews 72% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
Beautiful Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) can't decide what kind of man she wants to date, so she decides to date three at the same time. The first is Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), a rich, handsome narcissist. Then there's Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a stable, overprotective alpha male. Finally, there's Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee), a timid geek with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, while each suitor has his virtues, Darling just can't seem to make up her mind. Read More Read Less
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She's Gotta Have It

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She's Gotta Have It

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Critics Consensus

With She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee delivered his bracing first shot across Hollywood's bow -- and set the template for the groundbreaking act to follow.

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Critics Reviews

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Variety Staff Variety All the elements of an interesting yarn are implicit here -- save one: a compelling central figure Mar 17, 2008 Full Review Eric Henderson Slant Magazine She's Gotta Have It's characters talk into the camera, but they do so in service of a Rashomon-tinged postmortem on how an artistic young woman couldn't make polyamory work in her favor. Rated: 3/4 Jan 13, 2008 Full Review Time Out This delightful low-budget comedy, with its all black cast and black humour, is 100 per cent Lee. Feb 9, 2006 Full Review Farah Cheded A Good Movie To Watch Stands overall as a radical, exuberant, and impressively assertive lightning bolt of an entry into the medium that Lee changed forever. Oct 7, 2023 Full Review Taylor Baker Drink in the Movies Spike's first feature is a suave and toothy flick, served up pseudo-vignette with oodles of style. Rated: 80/100 Aug 27, 2021 Full Review Marti Wilson Sojourner She's Gotta Have It is cleverly crafted. Its entertainment value is not diminished by its serious notes... Spike Lee and this film will be take seriously. Aug 23, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (264) audience reviews
Leaburn O Starts off pretty enjoyable but the final third is too turgid and the film ultimately says pretty little. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/08/23 Full Review Willem W this whole movie is so good Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/25/22 Full Review Audience Member Very ahead of its time in the sense of feminine empowerment. Thought it was maybe a take on classism with the three being poor, rich, and in the middle? Not positive on that but it’s something I took away from it. Great story, great characters, lots of funny lines, outstanding film debut from the legend! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/15/21 Full Review jon c Spike Lee presents an intimate look at black love life Here the focus is on a woman named Nola Darling juggling her relationships with three different men She doesn't believe in labels and explains to the audience how things went for her Nola is unsure of what she wants Each of the men she describes had their virtues but she has yet to decide who's ultimately right for her The movie revolutionized black sexuality when it came out Men aren't taught to be in touch with themselves; some are decent some are more animal by nature Black women feel threatened by each other especially when it comes to their men being toyed around with For Nola is she doing all of these suitors right for herself or completely wrong? She can't have it both ways; just because she can see other people doesn't mean men can't do the same But it's still Nola's story; her body her mind and no one can take that from her She's not a one-man kind of woman There is an over abundance of monologues and spotty narratives with characters not fully explored but Spike Lee proves his craft here probing important and intriguing questions Women can still be polyamorous in the dating world and shouldn't be judged harshly because of it in order to find happiness Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review William L "What do you know? You're a Celtics fan." Apparently, Lee was inspired by Rashomon in the development of She's Gotta Have It, which provides an interesting point of view on the film, particularly the dueling perspectives on the same subject. Instead of focusing on solving a crime and the exploration of social castes in medieival Japan, Lee transplants the same design to black culture and independent sexuality in Brooklyn. As with many of his films that touch on race, the film toes the line between bold and simple lack of subtlety, such as when a bowtie-clad model with slicked-back hair requests white meat from a turkey, to which Lee's Mars responds with a "Figures!", and Johns' Nola is left relatively underexplored compared to the distinctive identities of each of her lovers (especially given an ending that supposedly hinges on her character development). Still, the film is distinctive, unique, was a force in inpendent cinema upon in its initial release (without even touching on the establishment of Lee's entire career), and is really fantastically structured - I loved it when Mars unceremoniously invades the interview of one of his suitor rivals, Hicks' Overstreet, and they go off on a tanget about Larry Bird. The blend of capable and distinctly amateurish acting contributes to the film's black comedy (pun intended?) design. Though it may show some of his recent film school experience, I like the variation in the medium as well, splicing in a range of camera styles, a dance sequence in color, and even still photography montage for a subway ride. Overall, it's a piece whose limitations can be attributed to an academic background and a lack of experience, but of great vision and ambition that hinted at the heights that Lee would reach later in his career. And the end-credit actor intros with the clapboards? Great stuff, Hicks' bit should be legendary. (3/5) Rated 3 out of 5 stars 05/31/21 Full Review Audience Member Whatever it's messy, meager flaws, this remains an audacious exercise of lyricism, well-shot and ingeniously stylistic, a paragon of cool. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Beautiful Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) can't decide what kind of man she wants to date, so she decides to date three at the same time. The first is Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), a rich, handsome narcissist. Then there's Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a stable, overprotective alpha male. Finally, there's Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee), a timid geek with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, while each suitor has his virtues, Darling just can't seem to make up her mind.
Director
Spike Lee
Producer
Spike Lee
Screenwriter
Spike Lee
Production Co
40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, New York Foundation for the Arts
Rating
R
Genre
Romance, Comedy
Original Language
English
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 1, 2017
Box Office (Gross USA)
$5.0M
Runtime
1h 24m
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