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Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998)

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



2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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


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) »


The story of three very different women.....with one husband in common. See more »


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tres bandas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


Judge Lambrey: Am I to believe there are three women claiming to be the widow of Frank Joseph Lymon?
See more »


Referenced in Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher (2002) See more »


Purple Haze
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining delight!
3 June 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

The filmmakers know you've heard this tale before - true life chronicle of a young singing star's rise and tragic fall - and so they wisely downplay the standard bio trappings and instead focus on a raucously entertaining ride through Frankie Lymon's woman troubles. The smart screenplay revolves around the court battle of Lymon's three wives (yes, three!) over song royalties, leading to vivid (and often humorously contradictory) flashbacks of their lives with the singer. Larenz Tate is magnetic playing the many different sides of the ever-changing lead character, but the film ultimately belongs to Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the wives. Each is allowed to shine as the trio portrays 30 years of changes in the women's lives, with Fox drop-dead hilarious as the most outrageous of the three. There's beautifully detailed '60s-era cinematography, sets, costuming and musical numbers, plus a side-splitting turn by Miguel Nunez as a young Little Richard. Major issues (such as '60s race relations) are barely glanced at, but what this film lacks in depth, it makes up for ten-fold in entertainment value. A winner!

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