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
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 »
Accurate Biography? Who knows? Entertaining film? You Betcha!
WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE? is a supremely entertaining biopic of the young singer Frankie Lyman, which unfolds in a clever variation on the traditional flashback form of storytelling. The film opens with three women arriving at Frankie's former manager's office after his death, trying to claim his estate, all claiming to be the legal widow of Lyman and it is during the trial to determine which of these ladies is Lyman's legal widow where Frankie's story unfolds. As with all movie biographies, you never know how much you're watching is based on fact and what has been enhanced or diluted for dramatic effect. In this screenplay, Frankie is a charismatic young singer, who apparently had no problem charming women out of their clothes and their money, the latter of which apparently went to support his drug habit. Frankie's drug use is somewhat glossed over and the screenplay tends to concentrate more on Frankie's manipulative ways with these three women and how he, at one time or another, managed to convince all three of them that there were the only women in the world. Baby-faced Larenz Tate plays Frankie with a sincerity and sexiness that possibly oversells Frankie's real womanizing, but he manages to keep Frankie likable despite some of the slimy things he does. The three women in Frankie's life are well played by Halle Berry, Viveca A. Fox, and Lela Rochon, with Fox a standout in probably the best performance of her career. The musical sequences are troublesome...Tate works hard at lip-syncing authentically, but I never bought the lip-syncing in the film...all of the musical sequences in the film come off sounding "canned." Still, Tate and the ladies commit to their roles and do make the movie worth watching. I don't know how accurate the film is as a biography of Frankie Lyman, but it is a very entertaining film that will effortlessly hold interest.
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