I recently had the chance to sit down and watch Spike Lee’s 1986 film, She’s Gotta Have It. The main character, Nola Darling, is in a state of confusion about which man she wants to be with. One of the men, Jamie, is the average African American male who works hard and treats women well. Next, there’s Greer, the stuck up, self centered, controlling man and Lastly, Mars (played by Spike Lee) who never grows up, and can’t keep a job because all he wants to do is fool around and buy sneakers. There was also a lesbian named Opal, but Nola wasn’t having that. That’s another article anyway.

Throughout the movie Jamie, Greer and Mars reflect on the time they spent with Nola, and all their sexual encounters. Nola was with all three men at the same time on and off. What man would put up with that? Towards the end of the movie Nola admitted that she saw all three men as one, each man offering something that she needed. Jamie had stability, Greer had confidence and money and Mars simply made her laugh. Sounds like all the main qualities most women look for in a man. Who could blame her? But at the same time she was being unfair to all three men, and they were just as foolish for putting up with it.

As I sat and watched this unique film, I thought about how accurate this depiction was back then and still is today. How many women do this today? I’m pretty sure the percentage is very high among women of all races, just as the percentage of men with multiple women is high. I guess my question is why did she have to have it? As the movie progressed, she began to realize she didn’t really have to have it. I could tell when Jamie’s character was first introduced in the movie that he was the most complete person for Nola, but as usual people can’t always see what’s good for them. He respected her, didn’t talk down to her, and was responsible, unlike Mars and Greer. But Nola pushed Jamie away with her constant pursuit of the other two men. He began to see another woman, and told Nola to choose or one day she was going to look around and he would be gone. It wasn’t only Jamie who demanded her to make her mind up. Greer and Mars asked Nola to make a decision also. Nola dropped Greer and Mars and realized that Jamie really did love her and she really loved him. He gave her a second chance but still ended up alone in the end. In the last scene of the movie Nola asked herself, who can love me better than me?

“Who can love me better then me?”

How many women or men today do we see juggling multiple people and can’t recognize the right person for them, even when their staring them in the face? I don’t know the answer, but what I do know is that the people involved in a love triangle have to want to stop and change themselves or no one will be happy. Ultimately comes down to having standards and values and not being selfish. Also, those who are being used shouldn’t allow this behavior. How can something like this be solved?

Another point from the movie that I want to speak on is that whole idea of Jamie, Greer, and Mars being as one person to Nola. These three men each had parts to them that was attractive to Nola, and satisfied all of her needs. That’s why in the movie Nola could never make her mind up about who she wanted to be with. There were parts of each man that she needed, and couldn’t let go.

One could argue that this is a sensible reason for her behavior but at the same time not. Many women and men deal with this same thing every day. People might find that one person of the opposite sex that they are really attracted to, but there are also other people in the equation. Ladies, their might be a guy that you like and want to be with, but there’s another guy over here who satisfies a need.

What I’m trying to get at is this idea of needing multiple people to fulfill your needs can ultimately lead to someone getting hurt, and it’s not fair to all who are involved. People end up being used all the while thinking they were the one for you. So my other question is why can’t people just find one person who can satisfy all of their needs. Do we really have to go through this long, confusing ordeal and drag other people along? Can people just take the time to get to know one person? I know no one is perfect and may not be everything that you need, but there has to be someone who comes close, don’t you think? But we know people are going to do what they want to do. Nola and Mars.

” target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjFem8_90sc

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  • thanks for the feedback everybody

  • Tori

    I think Isolde has it right. Nola gets punished for ‘being sexual.’ bell hooks writes an amazing essay about this movie.

    Question: Don’t we all in our dating life at one time or another just wanted to ‘date around’ and not settle down yet?