If She’s Gotta Have It Ended Correctly
I’m sure I’m not the only one who found the ending of Spike Lee’s 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It lacking. Lacking in a conclusive ending, lacking in a suitable release of tension that the film had steadily built, lacking in insight on sexual desire, black womanhood and coercive relationships disguised as romantic ones. You get the idea.
It seemed so promising, right? Black and white, arty score, interesting format, quirky characters— It had all the right ingredients and somewhere it took a wrong turn.
But never fear, the internet is here to fix it. Well me. On the internet. Fixing it. Unofficially. (Don’t show this to Spike, guys.)
Well, first of all, Nola keeps seeing Dr. Jamison (played by the goddess S. Apatha Merkerson). She continues to explore her sexuality and herself. In one particularly telling session, Nola admits that she has never achieved an orgasm.
Nola buys her first sex toy, but doesn’t take it out of the box. She spends days staring at it. The sex toy starts to haunt Nola from her dresser. When she looks at it, ominous music starts playing. She can’t stop looking at it. So, she throws a shirt over it.
Nola dumps Mars much earlier in the film. This break-up has nothing to do with Jamie.
Haunted by the sex toy, she decides to call him for some loving. The two have sex. It doesn’t fulfill her at all. After an hour of sweaty coitous, Nola asks Mars to go down on her. He refuses. She promptly gets dressed. He tries to get her back in the mood by telling her a joke. She finally tells him how lame his jokes are. He leaves, a tinier man than he already was.
Nola begins to hear the sex toy buzzing. This was of course impossible, because she had yet to put batteries in it. She mentions it to Dr. Jamison who tells her it’s her subconscious desire crying out for fulfillment. She ignores this very insightful comment and goes on a date with Greer.
Nola realizes Greer is a boring, snooty, oily misogynist and never speaks to him again. This break up also has nothing to do with Jamie.
Nola kicks Jamie to the CURB.
To finish out the cycle, Nola goes on a date with Jamie. She takes him home and they have boring sex. This frustrates her. She doesn’t seem to realize that he’s an obsessive, manipulative, pseudo “nice guy”, but you know, she realizes the sex is boring so… Win some, lose some.
The film actually fleshes out Opal.
A crazy thing happens: Nola has a real conversation with her. You know, that attractive woman friend who listened to her without judging (unlike Clorinda). Of course, Opal was not without flaws either. The few times she hit on Nola, she came on way too strong. And after weeks of hearing about how shitty and sexually predatory all the guys have been to Nola, she eases back and romances Nola like an actual human being.
They go to poetry readings together. Jazz clubs. Movies. They exchange interests. Nola finds out that Opal is studying to be a teacher. She sits in on a class Opal is student teaching and bonds with the children. The kids are enamored by Nola with her style and confidence. Nola is flattered and warmed by the experience. She and Opal exchange meaningful gazes across the classroom. (Someone needs to film this scene, ASAP)
Correction #7 aka The CLIMAX (get it?)
Nola and Opal get down in the sheets.
And after three consecutive lame sauce sexual encounters, Nola FINALLY gets her groove on with Opal. We’re talking an Earth-shattering, multiple-orgasm-producing lady-bone fest. Something that puts Violet and Corky’s scene in Bound in the kiddie corner. Black queer excellence.
The boys are revealed to be punk ass bitches.
Greer explodes from homophobic and misogynistic rage and confusion. It’s awesome. Mars shits his pants. Jamie decides to be in denial. Because he’s awful.
Nola gives no fucks up those cis male feelings and continues to get her groove on.
After an unjust period of neglect, the sex toy is finally released from its boxy prison. Opal and Nola make great use of it.
Jamie is revealed as the psycho he always ways.
In protest of Nola and Opal’s sweet sweet love, Jamie takes to camping outside of Nola’s door until she will see him. In his stubbornness, he subjects himself to hearing all of Nola and Opal’s sweet-sweet love. This eventually drives him to insanity. The happy couple sent him a fruit basket in the asylum. T’was the classy thing to do. Eventually he realizes that the world doesn’t revolve around him and his stupid tantrums and his shitty personality and he gets a life with some poor woman.
Nola shrugs off all the Jamie drama.
All of this news leaves Dr. Jamison grinning from ear to ear at her and Nola’s next session. It’s unprofessional, but who cares? Sexy, black queer love on fleek.
There is a happy, fulfilling ending for Nola.
Nola and Opal continue to be OTP. The most OTP that two gorgeous, sexy adorable creatures can be by reasonable real-life relationship standards.
Now that Nola has found sexual satisfaction and a partner who actually likes her as an actual human she uses the remainder of her visits with Dr. Jamison to grapple with her life and what it means to her. She realizes that she has spent so much time on the men in her life and their needs that she had neglected her development as a person. She begins to pick up hobbies like drawing and spoken word. She uses her new found free time to develop lasting friendships with others and experience her 20s fully without the anchor of a domesticating, patriarchal three-headed man monster. She and Opal grow closer together and form a strong romantic partnership. It is beautiful. Opal becomes a teacher. Nola quits her high-paying job because she realizes she has no interest in it. She uses her savings to buy and run a small poetry bar (Love Jones-esque) with a mainly queer and minority clientele. It becomes Brooklyn’s best kept secret. She lives happily every after. Or as close as a person can to happily ever after in the strange world we all live in.
And she most definitely does not settle in Red Hook and become a Jehovah’s Witness. Because that would be dumb. Really, really dumb.