Follow TV Tropes


Film / She's Gotta Have It

Go To

The feature debut of writer/director Spike Lee, She's Gotta Have It is a 1986 romantic comedy-drama starring Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell and Lee himself, about a woman seeing three men at the same time. Many people know of it from the early Nike Air Jordan commercials, which featured Lee as his character Mars Blackmon.

It was remade as a 2017 TV series on Netflix, with Lee serving as executive producer.

This film contains examples of:

  • Big Applesauce: The film is set in 1980s Brooklyn.
  • Casanova Wannabe:
    • Mars Blackmon.
    • The below mentioned Overly-Long Gag has several men who fit this trope.
  • Creator Cameo: Spike Lee as Mars Blackmon, a role he reprised in a series of Nike Air Jordan commercials.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Save for one color scene, the film is entirely in black and white.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Opal, Nola's lesbian friend, claims everyone is sexually flexible, though they usually settle on a preference (as she has).
  • Incompatible Orientation: Opal hopes that Nola will be open to have sex with her, but it doesn't work, despite Nola's curiosity about being with a woman.
  • Jerkass:
    • Greer Childs is a misogynistic, ethnically self-hating, chauvinist prick.
    • All the other male leads have their moments too, with Jamie raping Nola and saying that he liked it, and Mars calling her a freak.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Opal is long-haired, wears nice dresses and jewelry, while being attracted to her friend Nola as a self-declared lesbian. Funnily enough, Nola (who's aggressively straight) is more butch, slightly, with her short hair and less feminine dress style. Jamie's surprised that Opal's a lesbian because her style doesn't fit the stereotype, but then admits this is silly after Opal notes lesbians can look like anything.
  • Minimalist Cast: Only six characters are in two or more scenes.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jamie is a handsome man, whose muscular torso's shown frequently while having sex with Nola.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nola has multiple scenes in which she's topless or undressing, including sex scenes, while she's very good-looking.
  • No Fourth Wall: Nola and other characters to a lesser degree address the audience directly multiple times.
  • Offscreen Breakup: By the end of the movie Nola dumps Mars and Greer to commit to Jamie, but in the final scene she reveals that she couldn't stand monogamy and their relationship collapsed.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The scene of several men giving hilariously bad pick-up lines.
  • Rape as Drama: Near the end of the movie, Jamie, who spends most of the movie as a Dogged Nice Guy, rapes Nola when he gets fed up with her having multiple relationships with other men. It's coupled with some quick-cuts to Mars and Greer doing the same thing, which appear when Jamie asks Nola if they've ever done this before, which seems to imply that it has.
  • Really Gets Around: Nola is seeing three men at the same time while the events of the film occur, causing most of its drama. At the end she has tried and failed to have a monogamous relationship dating Jamie. An ex-roommate of hers says they stopped living together as she grew annoyed at how many men Nola had over all the time.
  • Shout-Out: For Nola's birthday surprise, Jamie tells her to "Click your heels three times and repeat after me: 'There's no place like home.'" After she obliges, the film suddenly goes from black-and-white to color.
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: There's a montage of bad pickup lines including the classic "Baby, you're so fine, I'd drink a tub of your bath water."
  • Twofer Token Minority: Side character Opal is a lesbian in an otherwise straight cast.