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Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  28 August 1998 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 2,764 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 13 critic

Three women each claim to be the widow of 1950s doo-wop singer Frankie Lymon, claiming legal rights to his estate.

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Title: Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters
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Emira Eagle
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...
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Judge Lambrey
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Herman Santiago
David Barry Gray ...
Peter Markowitz
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Young Little Richard (as Miguel A. Nunez Jr.)
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Lawrence Roberts
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Ezra Grahme
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Richard Barrett
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Paula King
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Drug Dealer
Norris Young ...
Jimmy
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Storyline

In the mid-1980s, three women (each with an attorney) arrive at the office of New York entertainment manager Morris Levy. One is a singer from Los Angeles, formerly of the Platters; one is a petty thief from Philadelphia; one teaches high school in a small Georgia town. Each claims to be the widow of long-dead doo-wop singer-songwriter Frankie Lyman, and each wants years of royalties due to his estate, money Levy has never shared. During an ensuing civil trial, flashbacks tell the story of each one's life with Lyman, a boyish, high-pitched, dynamic performer, lost to heroin. Slowly, the three widows come together and establish their own bond. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

widow | doo wop | singer | estate | money | See All (70) »

Taglines:

Three different women married Frankie Lymon. Now as they fight to get a piece of his millions, They will have to prove who married him first and who loved him most. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tres bandas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,946,382 (USA) (28 August 1998)

Gross:

$12,413,650 (USA) (30 October 1998)
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(Technicolor)

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toni Braxton was set for a role in the film, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Goofs

When the scenes changes to Lamberton Prison in 1985, Diana Ross' version of "Why Do Fools" is more than once referred to as a new hit, when in fact, it was released in 1981. See more »

Quotes

Emira Eagle: That was the last time I saw him... alive. About a week later, Frankie's brother called to tell me that Frankie had overdosed.
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Connections

References What's My Line? (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

(Love is Like a) Heat Wave
Written by Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland Jr.), Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland
Performed by Martha & The Vandellas
Courtesy of Motown Record Co., L.P.
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Music
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User Reviews

Why Do Three Fools Fall in Love
1 June 2004 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

Other commentators seem to feel this is, or should have been, a movie about the life of Frankie Lyman. However, as the title indicates, it is really about three women who fell in love ... with a guy named Frankie Lyman. As the movie brings home fairly early, there is not much about Frankie to love. He is portrayed as a shallow, self-centered fool, with as little understanding of the music business as of the women he scams into being his wives.

Did Frankie have raw talent? Of course he did. Did Frankie do anything to develop this raw talent into an enduring musical career? No evidence of that. So much for Frankie. Larenz Tate plays him fairly well on stage, and rather flat off stage. We are not given a clue as to what the attraction may have been.

And, since two of the women were relatively unaware of his celebrity status when they were first taken with him, and the third had a celebrity status of her own, we expect the movie to answer the title question. The women do not entirely succeed in this, but they are terrifically watchable while they try.

Halle Berry is great as Zola Taylor, singer with the Platters. Viveca Fox is almost as good as the home girl who turns hooker to support Frankie, and Lela Rachon is perfect as the goodie-two-shoes last wife, a God-fearing and educated working woman.

The music scenes are good, and the courtroom scenes are outrageously unrealistic.

This would have been a better movie if they had not specifically based the story on Lyman, but only alluded to him. In this manner, the Hollywoodization of the story would have been less noticeable. Unfortunately, realizing that such a course would inevitably preclude using the Lyman hits, they chose to make this a triography of the wives, and allow them to play off Tate's weak Lyman persona.

All in all, a good couple of hours of enjoyment that is not too compelling. When it was over, we found ourselves asking, "Why DID these three fools fall in love?"


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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