Combining a lively, topical theme with stylish filmmaking techniques, NYU Film School alum Spike Lee won instant recognition for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, his promising but flawed feature debut.
Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns) is a young, black Brooklyn woman whose bed is a shrine visited with great frequency by three very different boyfriends. She can't, however, pick the one she likes the best. First there's Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a sensitive, well-mannered sort who
smothers Nola with his overpossessiveness. Then there's Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), a self-absorbed fashion model. The most likable character is the third beau, Mars Blackmon (director Lee), an unemployed bicycle messenger who always manages to make Nola--and audiences--laugh.
Combining humor, drama, and documentary techniques, Lee has created an energetic film that takes an unflinching look at modern sexuality--specifically black sexuality. The film is filled with scenes of the main characters speaking to the camera, commenting on the story and their rival
characters--adding a sense of authenticity it might otherwise lack. Although the film's small budget and tight shooting schedule (lensed in 15 days on Super 16mm) is betrayed by sloppy editing, unpolished sound and an occasional flat performance, particularly Johns in the lead role, SHE'S GOTTA
HAVE IT still bursts with the energy and technical command that have quickly established Lee as a major force in American cinema. The Mars Blackmon character lived on in a series of commercials for Nike sneakers shot by Lee.
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- Released: 1986
- Rating: R
- Review: Combining a lively, topical theme with stylish filmmaking techniques, NYU Film School alum Spike Lee won instant recognition for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, his promising but flawed feature debut. Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns) is a young, black Brooklyn woma… (more)