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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.

Director:

Gregory Nava

Writer:

Tina Andrews
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Halle Berry ... Zola Taylor
Vivica A. Fox ... Elizabeth 'Mickey' Waters
Lela Rochon ... Emira Eagle
Larenz Tate ... Frankie Lymon
Paul Mazursky ... Morris Levy
Pamela Reed ... Judge Lambrey
Alexis Cruz ... Herman Santiago
David Barry Gray ... Peter Markowitz
Miguel A. Núñez Jr. ... Young Little Richard (as Miguel A. Nunez Jr.)
Clifton Powell ... Lawrence Roberts
Lane Smith ... Ezra Grahme
Ben Vereen ... Richard Barrett
Paula Jai Parker ... Paula King
Marcello Thedford ... Drug Dealer
Norris Young 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A tres bandas See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacksonville, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,946,382, 30 August 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,413,650, 1 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rhino Films,Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Halle Berry and Lela Rochon previously worked together in Boomerang (1992) though they did not share any screen time together. See more »

Goofs

Elizabeth Waters testified in court that she first met Frankie in 1961, but in the flashback to their first meeting, the music playing on the department store stereo is "Walk On The Wild Side", not released in 1962. See more »

Quotes

Frankie Lymon: [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]
Zola Taylor: No, you better let ME take of this. Cause if you haven't heard, MY record's #1!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

I Got You (I Feel Good)
Written by James Brown
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 LexticalSee 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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