She's Gotta Have It

1986 film by Spike Lee

She's Gotta Have It is a 1986 black and white comedy-drama movie. It was written, directed and edited by Spike Lee. Lee also acts in the movie.

Nola Darling is a young and attractive woman from Brooklyn. She is in relationships with three men: the polite and well-meaning Jamie Overstreet, the self-obsessed model Greer Childs and the immature Mars Blackmon. Though Nola is attracted to the best in each of them, she refuses to commit to any of them. Instead, she likes her personal freedom.

Her carefree, sexual lifestyle comes to an end when the three men meet and talk about Nola. Greer justifies Nola's arrogant behavior by saying she doesn't see the three as individuals. She sees the three as a group. Jamie and Mars become unhappy over how little Nola cares for all three men.

Jamie realizes that Greer and Mars are too scared of losing Nola to force her to choose one of them. Jamie tells Nola she must choose a single lover. Nola asks Jamie to come to her apartment to have casual sex. Jamie rapes Nola. He mockingly asks her if he's as good sexually as Greer or Mars. Nola has a "no-sex" agreement. Jamie rejects it at first. Then he agrees.



Nola realizes the freedom to have many sex partners that men have usually enjoyed. "A woman (or, at least Nola) can be a sexual being, doesn't belong to a man and perhaps shouldn't even wish for such a thing".[1]



Box office


She's Gotta Have It opened in one theater on August 8, 1986. It made $28,743 on its opening weekend.[2] The movie took in $7,137,503 in the United States.

Critical reception


The movie was well-liked by critics and audiences. Rotten Tomatoes rated this movie at 90% based on the reviews of 31 critics.[3] The Metacritic rated the movie at 79/100.[4]


1986 Cannes Film Festival
  • "Award of the Youth" Foreign Film — Spike Lee (won)
1986 Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
  • "New Generation Award" — Spike Lee (won)
1987 Independent Spirit Awards
  • Best First Feature — Spike Lee (won)
  • Best Female Lead — Tracy Camilla Johns (nominated)

Home media


The movie was released in VHS format. In 2008 it was released on DVD in Region 1 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Television series


A television series based on the movie got started on Netflix in 2017. Director Spike Lee directed the first season.


  1. "She's Gotta Have It". Pop Matters. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  2. "She's Gotta Have It". The Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  3. "She's Gotta Have It". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  4. "She's Gotta Have It". Metacritic. Retrieved December 26, 2018.