A whistleblower now unemployed and desperate for cash accepts an offer to be a sperm donor for his ex-girlfriend, now a lesbian. He is soon inundated with offers from other lesbians while his former employer questions his ... more »ethics.
"Roger Ebert said something like, "I could give this a predictable, bad review, but something tells me that Spike wants audiences to read against the grain; that he wants to provoke questions more than provide answers." I agree. There was so much about this movie that is hateful and ridiculous, but I'm guessing that Spike has some point in doing this.
Spike's two favorite topics are race (Do the Right Thing, X, Get on the Bus) and sexuality (She's Gotta Have It, Girl 6). So here he throws his favorite subjects together with jumbled hodgepodge results.
The idea that 19 lesbians are paying a man to impregnate them "the old-fashioned way" is ridiculous. Lesbians face sexism and homophobia in the workplace, yet here they are throwing thousands of dollars around like it's nothing. There are thousands of black and multiracial children that can't find adoptive parents, yet here women of all races are paying to have a black man as sperm donor, at a time when more black children don't have fathers than do. In real life, lesbian mothers are often oppressed by judges that are just too happy to snatch their children and give them to biological (heterosexual) fathers, so why would any lesbian, rich ones at that, be so comfortable with the bio dad interfering in their families?! Gender radicalism is punished in this society, yet the masculine lesbians in this movie have money to throw around just like gender-conforming heterosexuals. Instead of appointing one woman at a time, 5 are arranged per night, why!?
I think that Spike is trying to make his own version of "Boomerang." Here, roles are reversed: lesbians get to treat a straight man like a sex object. Here, the class-privileged, heterosexual man gets to find out what it's like to be treated like a prostitute. Here, a man has to trade sexual acts for survival. Perhaps this is revolutionary, but the ludicrousness stands in the way. I really think in "M. Butterfly," David Henry Wang implies that only an Asian man could point to how offensive the "Madame Butterfly" idea is. Perhaps, Spike is suggesting that only lesbians can show how exploitative the sex trade is.
1. The conversations between black men are the most touching and poignant in the film. Feminists have consistently derided Spike for his shallow depiction of women. Here again, Spike champions straight black men while making every other group look bad.
2. Again, when Spike thinks "white" he free associates to Italian Americans. Perhaps this is due to the success of "The Sopranos" but again, Spike makes this group look ignorant and stereotypical.
3. Spike usually plays the short guy in his films. This time, however, he has 2 short men, one German and one French. They have odd voices and seem misplaced. It's almost as if Spike is purposely portraying short men as jesters. This is very hypocritical coming from him.
4. Usually in Spike's films, white is seen as "versus" black. But here, whites and blacks are often mentioned in the same breath. Interracial sex takes place often.
5. Unlike the asexuality of the gay men in "Get on the Bus," lesbians here are allowed to be sexual. Spike seems like one of those straight men that can tolerate lesbianism and female bisexuality, but not male gayness. I find this very offensive and problematic.
6. Like many entertainers, this was Spike's attack against George Bush. No problem there!
7. This movie ends just like "Mo' Better Blues." I won't give away what happens, but when you see it, you'll know its limitations.
8. The fact that "Boat Trip" had a pat "be nice to gay men" didn't stop it from being outrageously homophobic. Here, Spike illustrates discrimination against lesbian mothers, but it still pales in comparison to how lesbians are being used as vehicles for him just to make the black, straight, male protagonist look good."
What could Spike Lee have been thinking?
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/17/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"She Hate Me is pretty much a thematic mess. Poorly executed, overly long, with a narrative that is all over the place, the movie is probably one of the worst films to be released in recent years. Viewers will be severely mistaken if they start watching this movie thinking that it's going to be some smart, savvy corporate espionage thriller, because it's certainly not. Instead, She Hate Me is a strange and outlandish mixture of three odd movies in one: It's about a whistleblower, an Italian crime syndicate, and most bizarrely, it's a story about a man who makes money through impregnating lesbians.
A really good Anthony Mackie plays Jack Armstrong. Jack is an extremely ambitious corporate wiz kid, who works for a biotech corporation that is on the verge of releasing an AIDS vaccine. However, the FDA has summarily rejected the vaccine. Jack soon learns from a peculiar German scientist (David Bennett), who later suicides that some kind of shady Enron-like financial transactions have taken place, concerning a senior executive (Ellen Barkin) and the company C.E.O. (Woody Harrelson). Jack decides to blow the whistle, and consequently loses his job, and has his financial accounts frozen.
Determined to keep the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed, Jack receives a visit from his gorgeous ex-fiancée (Kerry Washington) and her lesbian lover (Dania Ramirez), who offer him ten thousand dollars to get them pregnant. His talents as a lover and baby-maker begin to catch on, and soon women including the daughter of a mafia don, played by Monica Bellucci, are lining up to sample his talents. Strangely, although they're all lesbians, they seem to be enjoying the whole process, which when you think about it, is kind of insulting.
Interspersed with this sorry story is a tale of Watergate remembrances, some digs at George W. Bush, an attempt at showing procreation through animation, and a nonsensical subplot involving Jack's best friend as a sperm donor. There's a terrible monologue between Jack and his ex-fiancé as they talk about why they split up and question her sexual identity. There's also another dreadful scene where Jack visits and is lectured to by the mafia don (John Turturro), whose pretending he's in the Godfather movie.
It's hard to figure out what Spike Lee is trying to say in this movie. Maybe he feels that lesbianism is a myth, African-American men have too many children, and prostitution should be legal. Perhaps he is also saying that racism is institutionalized in the corporate world, and that business fraud is commonplace. There are lots of inane tirades that go on forever about white white-collar crime, racial double standards and parental responsibility. As She Hate Me slowly and endlessly unravels, it doesn't take long for the viewer to figure out that this is a terrible, disastrous hodgepodge of a film - view it at your own risk. Mike Leonard February 05. "
Digibong! | eternia | 12/29/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is like 2 and a half hours long!!! WHY?!?!? It can't decide if it wanted to be a movie about a young black professional male blowing the whistle on an "Enron like" organization and himself caught in the middle of it, or just being about a brother who was down on his luck and due to frozen assets,etc FORCED into being the "Sperminator" to a whole bunch of "biological-clockticking" lesbians.
I kinda liked the second story better. But at the same time this movie is a bit too unrealistic. I am trying to understand why they think that every other lesbian couple or individual WANTS to have a child...let alone the "old fashioned way" (by way of the male species that is) They need to get those statistics right before putting it out there like that. Then to top it these lesbians are acting more like they are Bi-sexual and enjoying themselves in the process, no complaints or anything..it's like they WANTED to be "turned out" by this guy. And worse...they pay $10,000 for this when all they had to do was get someone from around the way, buy him 2 chicken wings and a blue soda and boom! They would have saved all the drama and trouble..and money.
There are a few celebrity appearances such as: John Turturro,Q-Tip,Brian Dennehey,Spike Lee's sister, Lonetta McKey,Jim BRown,Woody Harrelson,but they don't do much for the script other than to make this movie seem like it's not just another "hood" movie about a guy skeezin' on woman. It's like this was unncessarily long to accomodate the "Enron-like" scandal plot and the "baby making machine" plot..they should have made it one plot and save the time and money. "
mediafan | 06/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"To begin, I am relieved that neither Spike nor Joie are in front of the camera like usual. I will give him one star for his creativity. He always brings that to the movie. I will give him the other star for tackling such strong content. Another character in his favor. However, he loses me with the whole flow of the movie. It seemed to be "cut and pasted" . It doesn't settle down into a story line. The editing is chaotic, the thought pattern is muddled. So there's no chance to really indentify with or connect with the character as with the other movies. As a result, it made the film hard to follow and just a screen full of Spike Lee going wild. This was far below of that he is capable of. This seemed to be a rushed project with issues that could have made two good projects versus one confusing one.The only redeeming quality comes from the alluding in my opening statement, the fact that Spike himself wasn't in front of the camera."
Wendell | Edmonston | 01/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'll give this three stars, but that's a disappointed three stars. I've been a Spike Lee fan since She's Gotta Have It. Used to be that I'd get out to see each of his films in the cinema right when it came out. That sort of enthusiasm has waned, however, and this film is an example of why.
Spike has done some classics, like She's Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, X. And he's made some strong recent movies, like Summer of Sam and The 25th Hour. But he's also made some stinkers, like Crooklyn and Bamboozled. She Hate Me is a lot like those lesser films. Whatever point the director is trying to make takes over and moves his characters around like they were stick figures - even if they're doing their best with their roles. Sometimes this works, but I'm not sure that in this case Spike has anything particularly interesting to say about either big business or lesbian motherhood or black male physical objectification...
I can't disregard him entirely. At moments this is thought provoking, but not often enough. It's tiring. Spike often goes on to long in his films, even in ones that I like. But when he goes on and on in a film that's not his best it really starts to get wearing. His cameo roles help inject some energy into it, but they don't hold the whole thing together. Anthony Mackie is a promising actor, but far too often in this he seems to doing a Will Smith imitation, especially when he gets upset.
Anyway, not one of Mr. Lee's best. I wish, actually, that he'd branch out and do something outside his New York comfort zone. He was ambitious early in his career, but to stay ambitious he needs to branch out and challenge himself again. Maybe something historical, something with an international flavor, just something different!"