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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 2,716 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 29 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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Judge Lambrey
...
Herman Santiago
...
Peter Markowitz
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Young Little Richard (as Miguel A. Nunez Jr.)
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Lawrence Roberts
Lane Smith ...
Ezra Grahme
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Richard Barrett
...
Paula King
...
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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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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)

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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 Mickey is telling her story about how she met Frankie, she attended a concert in which Frankie was to perform. When Frankie is out on stage singing, the microphone switches positions from the middle of the stage on a black square, to the middle of the stage on a white square, and then to the front of the stage on a white square. See more »

Quotes

Frankie Lymon: Hey, what kind of dog is that?
Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters: A somma dog.
Frankie Lymon: Somma dog?
Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters: Yeah! Somma this, somma that!
See more »

Connections

References To Tell the Truth (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part I)
Written by James Brown and Alfred James Ellis
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records
By Arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doo Wop Nostalgia at its peak
17 September 2005 | by (Colchester, Essex) – See all my reviews

An interesting (but flawed account) of the battle over pop star Frankie Lymon's estate by three women claiming to be his widow...

The story portrayed here is actually semi-fictitious, but the background story of Frankie's life is entirely true.

From his starts as a fresh-faced Harlem kid to a haunted drug addict, Larenz Tate (one of the most underrated talents in Hollywood) shines as dreamer Frankie, and does well to give perspective to Frankie's conflicting attitudes towards his relationships with the women, which the script muddles- Frankie appears shallow yet introspective at the same time.

Halle Berry tries to make more of her understated and thin role as Zola Taylor, wifey no. 2, but provides an adequate performance.

The most developed of the three female characters, is Elizabeth Waters (Viveca A. Fox). Loyal yet dishonest, gritty Elizabeth is the only character aside from Frankie that seems to be real. This is a combined effort by the characterisation and the performance by Fox.

And Lela Rochon does very well cast against type, as a school marm dragged into this battle. Rochon clearly understands the character well, and manages to make her mark on the story despite being developed late into the film.

The period detail of this piece is well captured over the 20-odd years that this story is set (particularly the performances of Frankie with the Teenagers), and even the small scenes which provide insight into Frankie's younger days.

The main flaws of this film lie essentially in the struggle to develop some of the themes. As mentioned earlier, Frankie's reasons for bigamy are not established at all or how he copes this with this, or whether one of the wives in particular is lying about the legitimacy of her marriage.

Some of the characterisation is a bit thin, caused by some of the later events of the film and because this deep story of fame, loss, betrayal and torment has such a muddled structure the whole film comes across as sketchy by the end which clearly was not intended.

But never the less this is an adequate tribute, to the world of fame and its inevitable clingers-on, and those just caught up in the action. This will never be top of its genre however...


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