Throwback Movie of the Month: She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

People assume that because I am a film critic I have seen every movie ever made. Contrary to popular belief, I have not! Matter of fact, I just watched Scarface (1982) for the first time this past week. And this whole time I thought it was an Italian mafia movie, but really it follows a thuggish Cuban on his way to the top of a drug cartel.

I know it looks like I know all things related to movies, but I don’t. And that’s the beauty of this job! In my free time, I am able to watch some of other people’s favorite movies just to form my own opinion about it. This month’s throwback movie is Spike Lee’s very first feature-length film, She’s Gotta Have It.

She's Gotta Have It

Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) is young, sexy, and terrorizing local Brooklyn men with her bold moves and striking confidence. Her boldest move was juggling THREE at one time. Her manly roster included:

(1) Jamie (Tommy Redmond Hicks): The Stand-Up Guy. After falling in love with Nola, Jamie fights for her commitment, but quickly realizes that her judgement is clouded with sex and attention.

(2) Greer (John Canada Terrell): The Show-Off. Materialistic and self-centered, the over-the-top model was concerned about what he could do for Nola rather than what he can do with her.

(3) Mars (Spike Lee): The Silly Boy. Begging reached a whole new level with Mars, a goofy small-time guy willing to share his beloved Nola.

Shes_Gotta_Have_It

Spike Lee, who employs his sister, Joie Lee, for a role in She’s Gotta Have It, is like the Black Adam Sandler. Other than his sister, actors like Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson. and Giancarlo Esposito have all been in more than one Spike Lee film. I love the fact that he keeps the circle tight, but he’s also willing to step out on a new actor. Overall, Mr. Lee keeps good, consistent actors in his movies.

The Morale of the Story

Ladies, we have all been there. Very rarely do women marry straight out of adolescence. As an adult, there’s some fishing around that has to occur before you find your prized trout. With all of its complicated elements, the dating field means having a few men on the bench AND on bases in order to find the all-star. I’ve been Nola Darling a few times and making those commitment decisions comes with maturity and trust. There’s no need to put all my eggs in a raggedy basket.

Let’s address the double standard too! If a man shuffles more than one woman then he’s labeled as a bachelor, pimp, or gigolo. But if a woman even lusts after more than one man, she’s cursed as a hoe, slut, and home wrecker. Every man is curious about the promiscuity of a woman with multiple male options. On the other end, fellow women scold her with a scarlet letter and put an all-points bulletin out about the new town whore. It’s not fair!

3 Stars: I gave Spike Lee an extra star because it was his very first major film project. She’s Gotta Have It clearly shows Spike’s amateur ability; however, the film sets the foundation for even better movies to follow like Do The Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), and Crooklyn (1994). I particularly enjoyed the color contrasts of different scenes. For the most part the movie was in black and white, but occasionally, we got a splash of color.

November Throwback Movie of the Month- Curly Sue

Curly Sue

A 1991 John Hughes Production introduced the world to the cute, chubby cheeked little girl with a head full of beautiful curls in Curly Sue. Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) was an orphan who traveled across the country with her father-like companion, Bill (Jim Belushi).

The pair performed small time scams to eat, stay warm, and survive. Until one day, their days of faking automobile accidents landed them into a temporary living situation. Big time Chicago lawyer Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch) shows pity on the family after she hits Bill on two different occasions. After many warnings from family and friends, Grey let the family reside in her expensive condo and in the end, falls in love with the motherless twosome.

The chemistry between the father and daughter was incredible. Bill and Curly Sue were opposites, as if two longtime friends were rugging it on the streets of Chicago. The two only complimented each other’s flaws and worked as a team to partially endure the Windy City.

Curly Sue was Steve Carell’s first movie. He plays a waiter named Tesio. And all though his role was minor it was just a joy to see him as a youngster. Steve Carell will always be one of my favorite actors. After recently watching this movie, I’m happy to know Mr. Carell once appeared in a classic.

John Hughes was a cinematic genius! From the Home Alone series to Maid in Manhattan, John Hughes consistently provided great family movies, either through direction, writing, or a combination of both. Some of my greatest childhood memories are filled with the works of John Hughes.

3.5 STARS: The Pretty Woman for 8-year-olds. A great holiday season-winter movie. Despite the movie’s adorable captivity, its overall message makes you appreciate the roof over your family’s head.

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