A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Spike Lee's "She Hate Me" will get some terrible reviews. Scorched earth reviews. Its logic, style, presumption and sexual politics will be ridiculed. The Tomatometer will be down around 20. Many of the things you read in those reviews may be true from a conventional point of view. Most of the critics will be on safe ground. I will seem to be wrong. Seeming to be wrong about this movie is one of the most interesting things I've done recently. I've learned from it.
After seeing the movie once, I would have complained that "She Hate Me" contains enough for five movies, but has no idea which of those movies it wants to be. Movie One: The story of a corporate whistleblower (Anthony Mackie), and an indictment of the corporate culture. Movie Two: The hero inexplicably becomes a stud who is hired to impregnate lesbians at $10,000 a pop. Movie Three: He impregnates a Mafia daughter (Monica Bellucci), and John Turturro turns up as her father, to do a Marlon Brando imitation. Movie Four: A free-standing sidebar about Frank Wills (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the Watergate security guard who brought down the Nixon administration and reaped nothing but personal unhappiness. Movie Five: How a black man steps up to the plate and accepts responsibility for raising his kids, by bonding with his lesbian ex-girlfriend (Kerry Washington) and her lover, who have both borne one of his children.
What do these stories have to do with one another? How can we be expected to believe, in 2004, that not one but 18 lesbians would pay a man to make them pregnant? And that he could perform with six women in the same night and bring every one of them to a loud and even thrashing climax? That his sperm would go the distance? That 17 of them would get pregnant after one encounter? That none of them would be alarmed at being sixth or 18th in a row of unprotected sex? And that when the movie shows its hero ready to "be there" for his children, it ignores the question of whether a lesbian couple would need or desire his presence, however noble his intentions?
Oh, I could go on and on. But read some of the other reviews for that. The standard review of this movie is unanswerable, unless you look beneath the surface.