A drama centered on a go-go dancer with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and begins working with a psychotherapist to uncover the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
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
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 »
Frankie and I were married, 1967 in Augusta, Georgia. I paid for his funeral. And I don't recall seeing any of you there.
Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters:
Oh, please. Don't even play me. Comin' up in here wearing white *after* Labor Day looking like a down-home schoolmarm!
YES, I am a down-home schoolmarm. I teach English in high school. A class you obviously skipped.
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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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