This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville ... See full summary »
A plantation owner's son falls in love with a slave named Easter and together they have a Mixed race daughter named Queen. As Queen grows up, she faces the struggle of trying to fit into ... See full summary »
The Jacksons are your average working-class family in Gary, Indiana; but when their father discovers the kids have an extraordinary musical talent they form a band. Winning talent show ... See full summary »
Holly Robinson Peete
Based on the novel by Gloria Naylor, which deals with several strong-willed women who live in a rundown housing project on Brewster Place in an unidentified eastern city; across three ... See full summary »
A drama set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the morals of her small town. Based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston.
The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night... See full summary »
Samuel L. Jackson,
Darius Lovehall is a young black poet in Chicago who starts dating Nina Moseley, a beautiful and talented photographer. While trying to figure out if they've got a "love thing" or are just ... See full summary »
The story of a young man, Jason (Allen Payne) who must confront his trauma-induced insecurity about love, as well as a sense of owed responsibility to his mother and troubled brother Joshua... See full summary »
Jada Pinkett Smith,
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
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 »
[after receiving a restaurant bill]
You better let me take care of this. Cause if you haven't heard, my record's #3!
[Teenagers yell in agreement]
No, you better let ME take of this. Cause if you haven't heard, MY record's #1!
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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?"
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