Sex sells

This movie was unbelievable. Yet another depiction of a woman as a nymphomaniac.
I thought it was really shallow, and even offensive.

There is no mention at all of sexually transmitted diseases, and yet promiscuity
is the main risk factor in the contraction and transmission of
sexually transmitted diseases.

It was supposed to be a frank, drama with comic touches, and yet does not
include at all any references to the most important issue, which is the well being of the main character Nola.

There is even a scene where a supposed psychologist is being 'interviewed'
saying that Nola's promiscuity is healthy.

Yeah, what about AIDS??? Genital Warts?? Chlamydia??

This movie is offensively stupid.

It's just a dumb male fantasy about a young attractive woman who can't stop having
sex. Ridiculous.


Well it looks like you are totally brainwashed by the slave mentality. You missed the point completely. This movie wasn't just about sex. The movie is about a woman being in love with 1 guy but having 2 other guys on the side. Something that happens in everyday life a lot. A lot of women are just as promiscuous as men. But I guess since the lead actress isnt white its a "terrible thing". You are a moron.


I thought it was completly the opposite actually, about a woman able to take control of her body and do what she wants to do, i don't think being played by a girl is every males fantasy thank you very much.


I'm gonna sum up the movie with Nola's words: "It's about control. My body, my mind. Who's gonna own it? Them or me?" It's not so much about a promiscuous character, it's about being your own person and in this case it was exemplified through sex but that was just the "outer" shell...the inner meaning is about owning who you are and being who you are. That's just the way I see it atleast.

Since the movie came out in the mid-80's I did wonder how it was taken, being that AIDS was a farely new disease in America.



Hey S.I.L., don't you post on the Girlfriends board?

This is so interesting. I just posted a question about "She's Gotta Have It" and "School Daze" on Spike Lee's board.

Anyhow, I was just starting college when I saw this movie in the 80's and you have to remember, back then, AIDS was a white gay man's disease. No one thought it would really affect black America, especially black women (what did we have to do with gay white men?). But we see that was not so.

Most of my friends thought this was a sexually liberating film for women, showing that we could do what the guys had done for years. But to be honest, most of us would never have done most of what she did in the film. It was intriguing, very different from what we had seen in other "black" movies at that time. But for us, not really reflective of our lives, at the time.


Hey phemon, lol Girlfriends is my show but I have to venture here and there.

Yeah makes sense it was "supposed" to be a gay white man's disease.

not really reflective of our lives, at the time

Yeah I guess that's why Nola stood out, she isn't or wasn't the "norm." She didn't represent the preception that women held. She knew what she wanted sexually and she wasn't afraid to explore it. A character trait more familar with men. This is one reason Spike is such a great filmmaker, he explores topics through characters that may not be popular. Like in "Do the Right Thing" why does Mookie throw the trash can in Sal's pizza shop at the end? Imagine if he didn't, the dynamics of that film would of been different. I love that about "Do the Right Thing, characters like Radio Raheem and the ending. I love that we have a stong female protagonist in "She's Gotta Have it" with male "tendencies". Just imagine if the protagonist was a man. To be honest I can't remember if there has been any films like "She's Gotta Have It"? Do you know any?



S.I.L. ~ No, I have never seen anything like "She's Gotta Have It". Spike really started the whole consciousness raising black film movement. Of course, he was really the only director making that movement live, for a while.

I liked the black and white / sepia feel the movie had. I was also a huge Prince fan so I loved "Under the Cherry Moon" for the same cinematic feel, but that was a totally different genre of film.

**Somewhat off the thread subject**
Both "She's Gotta Have It" and "School Daze" shaped my college years. Have you seen "School Daze" and if you did, what did you think of it?


Yeah I was feeling the black and white as well.

Personally I preferred "She's Gotta Have It" to "School Daze" but I still enjoyed "School Daze."

I didn't like the long singing sequences, my mind would start to drift. I thought they were a bit to long and they def. lost my attention which then lost the effect of the song. Like when the "wannabe's" and the "Jboos" were going at it in the salon, at first I was loving it for the fact that it showcased the whole "light skin dark skin" issues within the black "race" but after like the first minute I was ready for the sequence to be over. I felt the point was made so no need to drag it on any longer.

Who was the main character in this movie? I liked when Half-pint would say Dean big brother almighTEE, lol. I like the premise of the film because issues with "self identity" amongst black people does exist but is not really explored. I think a lot of people would rather admit to issues via another race then within their own reflections/"race." I haven't been following but I know Bill Cosby has been catching hell for "airing our dirty laundry." In School Daze Spike "airs out our dirty laundry" he tackles the whole light skin dark skin thing which is def. a true reality. I mean it's everywhere from ppl defining "good hair" and what complexion is in etc etc.

My favorite part of this film was in the end when Dap runs around yelling wake up. The first time I saw this film I was young, so the one thing that caught my eye was the whole Gammites. Watching the film at an older age basically just gave me the sense that Spike Lee was trying to tell black people to wake up. I guess from the things within our own cultures. What's your take on "School Daze?"

One last thing, what really is a "jboos"? Is it another term for the N-word?



Oh no! My friends would tell you “Don’t get her started on ‘School Daze’ because she can talk forever”. I loved it!! I loved every aspect of it. Only Malcolm X exceeds it as my favorite Spike Lee film. I hunted the CD soundtrack down for a couple of years. The Morehouse Glee Club’s “I’m Building Me a Home”, Phylis Hyman’s “Be One”… let me just stop! I cannot say enough about this film and its music. (Although I will agree that the beauty shop scene was a little long as is the song on the soundtrack.)

Although I graduated from a private (90% white) college in the early 90’s, I attended an all black elementary, junior and senior high school and started college at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS (a historically black college). “School Daze” was a representation of my life at the time it came out. I knew people just like every character in the film. Some of the scenes in the film were so real! Like when the girls were hanging out of the dorm windows when Dap was downstairs trying to apologize to his girlfriend… OMG, me and my friends did the same thing from our dorm at JSU over the quad. We used to watch the couples make out, watch them fight, and we would yell out our opinions about what they were doing ~ yeah, I know its wrong now… but back then it was so much fun :o)

I loved Spike for bringing the color hue issue to the mainstream. It’s something that most African-Americans deal with at one time or another, but we act like we don’t want anybody else to know about it. I especially liked the big contrast he made between the Gammites and the dark-skinned sistas. I am a dark skinned woman who is a member of a black Greek sorority that people usually refer to as pretentious. I have been told that I don’t look like I belong to my sorority because I’m not light-skinned. That has always been so funny to me because I came from a multi-hued family. My mother is dark like me, but her sister (18 months younger) is light-skinned. That was because my grandmother was dark like me but my grandfather was light. Her mother (my great-grandmother) was exactly the opposite ~ she was light and her husband was dark. In my family, there was no favoritism showed (as portrayed in the film) because of skin tone.

Okay, sorry, I got off the subject. I don’t know that there really was a main character in the film. I think it was a compilation of intricately woven stories about different college and life experiences of Dap, Half-pint and their friends. Of course only Spike knows what he intended from this film, but what I always got from it was that we as a race need to stop looking at differences in our color. We need to stop defining people as having ‘good’ hair and saying that they are better than others because of it. We need to stop defining those that are members of black Greek fraternities and sororities as better than others because of their ‘secret society’ membership. We need to “WAKE UP” to what is important to black people here in America and all over the world (at the time of the film, divesting from South African businesses was of great importance to bring emphasis to the problems of that region and to the then wrongful imprisonment of Nelson Mandela).

And to the question about “ji__a boos”, that is a derogatory term used in the past by some whites to refer to black people. Yes, it is along the same line as them calling us the n-word. IMO, both words are even more heinous when WE use them to refer to ourselves or each other.


One other thing SIL, did you know that when Spike filmed "School Daze" he seperated the two groups of women who played the wannabes and the jig-a-boos? I remember learning about this in an interview Jasmine Guy did once, and I also saw the following on the movie's IMDB page:

** "Spike Lee had the actors stay in separate hotels during filming. The actors playing the "wannabes" had better accommodation than the ones playing the *beep* which contributed to the on-camera animosity between the two camps."


I don't know if I can really pick a favorite Spike Lee film. I love "She's Gotta Have it" and "Do the Right Thing" but "Crooklyn" always makes me cry, I really like that film. I have yet to see his fairly new film "She's Hates Me." I can't forget "He Got Game" either. Oh and "Malcolm X," I think everytime I get a touch up I think about that scene when Malcolm has to stick his head in the toilet. Lol I can't even blame him.

I think I would enjoy the music better from the soundtrack's perspective. I do love music, I just couldn't take all the long singing in "School daze." Up until high school I went to an all black school myself. Then high school was majority white and now college is very diverse.

We used to watch the couples make out, watch them fight, and we would yell out our opinions about what they were doing

Lol I loved that scene when the girls where hanging out the window yelling at Dap.

Within my family I would say my mother is about my complexion and I'm about the complexion of actress Sanaa Lathan (Love & Bball)... Oh a little off subject but Love and Basketball is another one of my fav Spike films, He didn't direct or write but I believe he produced it. I love that movie! Anyway back to what I was saying. Yeah I'm about the complexion of Sanaa and My father, sister, and younger brother are "high yellow." On my father's side there is interracial blood in the greats. My Grandmother almost ninety years old, prefers light skin long hair black people. My sister and I always joke around that she prefers my sister but that's another story. My Grandmother doesn't hate dark skin folk and I can't really blame her b/c I know it's just a sign of her times. I don't think she even realizes it but I even remember for a wedding she had a fuss b/c my hairdresser pinned her hair up in a bun. She likes her hair to "flow"... lol. Don't get me wrong I love my grandmother and I respect her and like I said I know it's just a sign of her times. It's hard not to buy into the beliefs of beauty that were created. I mean hell the "standard" was implemented years ago and it still resonates today. So yeah I'm glad Spike choose to create a film about color issues with black people. I was just having a convo on Beyonce's boards about this similar topic of beauty and black women with self-identity issues.

Yeah that makes sense about the main character being Dap and Half-pint & friends. Oh yeah you're right about the wake up, I kinda forgot about the Apartheid issues.

IMO, both words are even more heinous when WE use them to refer to ourselves or each other.

I 100% agree with you. It's a big turn off when I hear black people used that word. It's very disgusting and degrading not only to themselves but to all the great men and women who fought and died to weed that kind of disrespect out of the system. I've had a very bad experience with the n-word. I was about 14 when an elderly white woman spit racial venom at my sister and I in our local pharmacy. I can't even explain the pain I endured. Still to this day I cry when I think about it. The pain was devastating I think if a 300pd man hit me in the face with his fist I would have felt less pain. Matter fact I know it would have been less pain. I've changed b/c of that experience and even though it was horrible I've def change for the better. I guess now I see the world for what it is or can be. I'm not bitter and I hold no grudges to any white person. I'm just aware now and I understand TRULY what people like Martin Luther King jr. and many others stood for. It has affected me and when I write scripts I choose not to use that word. I told myself that only if I'm writing a historical piece should I use it. I may be a little hypocritical though b/c I still support certain music and films and shows that used the n-word freely.

No, I didn't know he separated the actors. Very interesting technique.



Owning who are does not mean risking your life by sleeping around.

Promiscuity is the main risk factor in getting STDs. Some of you seem very ignorant about STDs.


It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with omitting the most important information which has to do with having safe sex the kind, that does not
spread diseases. This movie is hugely irresponsible. As is She Hate Me.

"You are a moron"

Lol. You clearly having nothing to say.


Hey man, you're obsessed with STD's. Please be aware that movies aren't forced to do an explanation on every social problem, that's the governments job, not the artists.
You obviously don't like Spike Lee, you shouldn't try any harder, he wont be making any concessions, as far as I know his work.


no, unfortunately you may be the idiot... her not being white isn't the issue...her not being CUTE is the issue.


Actually, I first saw this film in an undergraduate Women's Studies course, as a rare example of a woman in control of her sexuality. The general consensus was that the film was empowering to women. This was the first Spike Lee film I saw, and I loved it. Had this not been required viewing, I likely would have never discovered Spike Lee's genious. He's one of my favorite filmmakers.


I wonder about that class you took. The man she loved raped her, and she still ended up chasing after him. And that was empowering how?



One of the best things about Spike films is that he doses not attempt to lead the viewer to his or society ideology of what is morally right but uses a mirror to reflect the ideas from all fascists of society. Misogyny, nymphomania, promiscuity were all posted to review this film.

Lets break it down.

Misogyny: Jamie Overstreet charter was seen as a misogynist when his charter left his current girlfriend in the middle of the night in answered to his ex Nola Darling charter phone call only to lose his new girlfriend and raped Nola Darling charter because he could not control her.

Promiscuity /Nymphomaniac: Nola Darling charter is described in this film as a whore, slut, or monster because she choose to live as a free spirited woman that wanted to control her sex life.

Nola Darling "It's about control. My body, my mind. Who's gonna own it? Them or me?"

Now I’m not sure if every woman can relate to Nola Darling views on sex but I am certain of how men insecurities are often projected on women because of the issue of control.

For instance, now women correct me if I’m wrong but how often are you ladies asked how many sex partners have you had (not for reason of safer sex but a moral review), or are asked question to how he compares to your last sexual partner( as if he is begging you to tell him you hated the experience all together). How large was he or did he do it like this as Jamie Overstreet attempted to demonstrate on Nola Charter.

What I saying is sex does sell but not in this movie. What Spike is selling in this movie is the ability to challenge our own convictions on sex through the ideas we all had or have.

Are women suppose to date one man at a time and he date as many as he wished in till he chooses to leave or marry her?

Is it right for men to insist that women live up to what he believes is a morally right
In terms of her present and past sex life?

Are women whore that date more than one man?

Should sex be used as means of control?


<how often are you ladies asked how many sex partners have you had (not for reason of safer sex but a moral review), or are asked question to how he compares to your last sexual partner. >

Not counting jackasses, never.

If it matters in evaluating my opinion, I'm a woman. I found Nola to be extremely likeable (Tracy Camilla Johns had one on the best onscreen smiles I've ever seen), but not quite human. Then again, all of those guys were just sad, sad, sad specimens.

God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety


A well made movie with a misleading message.


I didn't get the message of the movie. I just watched this movie last night. I was born two years after this movie was made so I guess when people from my Generation watch it today we're going to have some of the same questions and concerns I do.

That being said, womens liberation was a big part of this film. She's allowed to have sex with as many men as she wants and no one can tell her better. I've known girls like Nola and they usually end up pregnant or with some STD so I don't know how liberated that is.

Nola was also being pursued by a woman, but she denied that part of herself which to me symbolized she wasn't really ready to be free sexually. She just wanted to manipulate those men because they let her. So I ask, what message was I supposed to recieve from this movie?

It Stays The Same


I just finished watching this movie and I really enjoyed it. I think it was a great piece on feminism. It is a very empowering movie. A woman does as she wants and pleases--not trying to please society's definition of what a "decent" woman should do. She does what she wants-end of story.
Men do it, women do to. I loved this statement.


I thought this movie was refreshing for a number of reasons. There are still very few films that feature African-Americans as three-dimensional characters. Usually black people have to fit into a stereotype to be included in a film --- the wise sidekick, the jokester, the hardened criminal --- but you rarely get genuine characterization.

On the other hand, a number of black people I talked to didn't like it because they felt it played up the stereotype of the black woman as sex-crazed. (Some of us might remember the Rolling Stones' song "Some Girls", in which Jagger sings, "... Black girls just want to get *beep* all night..."

Of course there's a stereotype of black men as being super-sexed, so I guess it cuts both ways.

I've known a number of women white, black, and other who were sexually active, and I think the stereotypes are absurd. But it's interesting that people of all kinds tend to have a strong reaction to a film depicting a sexually active woman. Did people react the same way to "Sex and the City", which features four white women with busy sex lives? Hmmm...

We report, you decide; but we decide what to report.


I agree, I was also unclear about the message of this film. I did not dislike Nola, but I could not relate to her, either. The impression I got was that she was supposed to be in control of her body and sexuality, but she was also manipulative. I know there is a double standard for women with more than one sexual partner, but I could not get behind her final statement,"I'm not a one-man woman," especially when it is never explained why Nola chooses to not be a one-man woman.


You had me until you said "attractive" woman... that chick was far from cute!


I semi-agree with you (this woman WAS really promiscuous) but you see men doing that all the damn time in movies (let's see...Wedding Crashers, Animal House, Road Trip immediately come to mind) and I never see anybody complaining about it. Why about this?

And on the disease factor in're blowing it up. Yeah, I'll admit that the only chance of keeping yourself from STDs is if you're abstinent. Most of the really common ones are bacteria-based and curable, so we'll count them out. That leaves the viral STDs.

If you're that scared of getting AIDS or herpes, you might as well not ride a bicycle, drive a car, or go on rollercoasters. Better yet, don't live near a major city. Violent crime is so rampant you could likely be a victim.

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Got me?


Agree with some parts. I for one found this movie incredibly sad. It seemed Jamie truly loved this girl (what other guy would just share the same dinner table with her girlfriend's two lovers and wouldn't flip out immediately?), and at the end she just goes back to whoring around, really confusing message. Like someone already said, these type of girls usually end up pregnant or spreading STD's.