XL Popcorn – She’s Gotta Have It

This is the first film post I’ve written since the 1001 book was updated in early October 2019. Usually I luck out and end up with being able to been the numbers in my progress bar the same, but this time that didn’t happen. So that’s why the number has jumped between this post and the last one I did for the 1001 list.

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 781/1007Title: She’s Gotta Have It
Director: Spike Lee
Year: 1986
Country: USA

I was going to watch this on my tablet on the plane ride back from Seoul, but I got distracted by some actual Korean movies so I ended up just catching it on regular Netflix at home as I tucked into a KFC bucket for one. Makes for a bit of a pathetic image, but this is what happens when a cinephile is home alone for the first time in a few months.

This is the third Spike Lee that I’ve seen and, since the last one I saw was his most recent, it makes it all the more interesting that I am now watching his feature debut when he was very much part of the independent film scene. The by-product of this is that She’s Gotta Have It lacks polish and, for some of people involved, decent acting. It made for a bit of a wild start of the movie for me where I instantly regretted pressing play.

The film managed to win me over though, and in the end it was kinda nice to have a film that felt a bit more informal. Sure, there were times where it started disappearing up itself, but on the whole this was interesting to see Spike Lee’s origins and him poking a bit of fun at himself in the role that he gave himself.

In the end, this film is all about choices and their consequences be it for good or for ill. The central character’s big choice being whether to stay true to herself and continue her journey exploring her female sexuality or to settle down with one of the three men she is currently seeing. The fact that one of them rapes her and she then chooses him is incredibly problematic, but at least she ousts him in the end in order to continue her journey. Given the light-hearted nature of the film up to the rape scene I had a really bad feeling at the message that Lee was going to leave us with – thankfully it’s ultimately one of being true to yourself but that was still rough to see.

She’s Gotta Have It made for the first in a rather strange double bill this evening. What film did I end up pairing this with just because I had it to hand? Well, that will have to wait until tomorrow.


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