She's Gotta Have It
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Despite the suggestive title, what "she" has got to have is control over her own body, her own love life, and her own life in general in this breakthrough debut feature by celebrated director Spike Lee. A trio of semi-losers are in one way or another after exclusive control of the heartstrings of Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns). Jamie (Redmond Hicks) is the sensitive but possessive type, while the other two run the gamut between Greer (John Terrell) a narcissistic hunk who models for a living and Mars (Spike Lee), a fast-talking comic. While Nola comes off less convincing than her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"All the elements of an interesting yarn are implicit here -- save one: a compelling central figure"
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Made for less than $30,000, Lee's first feature posed him as a mid-80s rival to Woody Allen, nearly equaling him in the psychological authenticity of his characters and perhaps bettering him in grace and virtuosity and sheer creative glee."
‑ Peter Keough, Chicago Reader
"From the start, it was less important whether or not you agreed with Lee than if you appreciated him for stirring things up."
‑ Josh Larsen, Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
"An assured debut, which Spike Lee produced, wrote, directed, edited, and acted in, offers him opportunity to show a slice of black urban life in which white characters don't even exist; the title and heroine's name are deliberately B-porn like picture"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Fledgling Spike Lee work. More interesting than good"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"This delightful low-budget comedy, with its all black cast and black humour, is 100 per cent Lee."
‑ , Time Out
"Light, scrappy entertainment that flatters everything funky and fresh about Lee, tempting you to forgive what is stunted or abrasive in the film. A major swaying element is his own on-screen persona."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"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."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"A good first effort that lacks quality acting and overall polish, but compensates with insightful black man's humor."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Spike Lee's first was good for what it was, a low budget student effort, but as a stand alone film it's lacking in many areas."
‑ Oz,
"The film probes important and intriguing questions, even if the characters are not explored as thoroughly as they might have been."
‑ D.J.R. Bruckner, New York Times
"Combining humor, drama, and documentary techniques, Lee has created an energetic film that takes an unflinching look at modern sexuality -- specifically black sexuality."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"New York Negro neurosis as source material for mirth, amusement and introspection, like a Woody Allen classic, only in blackface."
‑ Kam Williams,
"She's Gotta Have It is funny, honest and brave, and unafraid to admit to complexities and contradictions within the African-American world it portrays."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for She's Gotta Have It on Rotten Tomatoes