She's Gotta Have It

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Lee's first feature focuses around the attempts of Nola Darling (Johns), aware but not ashamed of her reputation as a good-time girl, to sort out the three steady men in her life with a view (maybe) to marriage: the sincere and caring Jamie (Hicks), the self-obsessed model Greer (Terrell), and the outrageous bicycle messenger Mars (Lee). Each lover, convinced that he is the solution to Nola's problem, makes his prospective pitch (to the girl and audience alike) in a series of painfully funny character vignettes. The action centres on Nola's spacious Brooklyn studio, where the men take it in turns to assassinate each other's characters, before gathering round Nola's Thanksgiving table to do it face-to-face. Structurally, it could be compared to Kurosawa's Rashomon for its subjective cross-examination of Nola's loves; but this delightful low-budget comedy, with its all black cast and black humour, is 100 per cent Lee.

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Spike Lee
Screenwriter: Spike Lee
Cast: Tommy Redmond Hicks
John Canada Terrell
Joie Lee
Ray Dowell
Tracy Camila Johns
Spike Lee
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