Spike Lee's breakthrough independent feature, shot in fifteen days on a budget of $175,000, ushered in (along with Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise) the American independent film movement of the 1980s. It was also a groundbreaking film for African-American filmmakers and a welcome change in the representation of blacks in American cinema, depicting men and women of color not as pimps and whores, but as intelligent, upscale urbanites.
Lee's slight tale, which carries much psychological and historical baggage, concerns Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns), a young, self-assured Brooklyn woman who juggles three boyfriends -- the polite and well-meaning Jamie Overstreet (Tommy Redmond Hicks), the self-obsessed male model Greer Childs (John Canada Terrell), and the comical bicycle messenger Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee).
Nola doesn't want to commit to any of her boyfriends, cherishing her personal freedom. But as their relationships with Nola grow, each man wants her for himself.