She's Gotta Have It
Directed by Spike Lee
Okay, how many movies did we get through before there was another rape? Two? That's not an exaggeration; we only had a brief break in between this and Blue Velvet. I am somewhat mollified by Spike Lee's later quote on the scene: "You know what my biggest regret is? The rape scene in She's Gotta Have It. If was able to have any do overs, that would be it. It was just totally stupid. I was immature and I hate that I did not view rape as the vile act that it is." Of course, he might have just said that to get us to watch his the television series he plans on making based on this film, but it still made me feel a bit better.
Nola Darling is a young attractive African American woman who has three lovers (Jamie, Greer, and Mars) and no intention to settle down. The men find out about each other and are angered by the way they are treated. I suppose they believe (and the audience is supposed to believe) that if a woman loves sex she ultimately is asking to be raped. She is, by Jamie, although apparently we are still supposed to hope that those crazy kids work it out.
Obviously, this film is so infuriating and hypocritical that it has to be intentional...right? Based on the ending, I am not so sure. I certainly don't think Lee had the best intent with the rape scene, and he seems to agree with that. I am glad we had a movie featuring a sexually free black woman, but I can't help thinking that the whole thing was handled rather badly.