Projections - Movie Reviews

Why Do Fools Fall In Love

Frankie Lymon was a rock n roll star at the ripe old age of 13. Along with his backup group, The Teenagers, he had his first hit, Why Do Fools Fall In Love in 1955.

The group toured with The Platters and Little Richard (who has a funny cameo). But, Frankie's sweet soprano voice became so popular that he went solo and, with his hit Goody Goody, he was in the big time.

The film, directed by Gregory Nava (Selina), is loosely based on Frankie's life.  He died of a heroin overdose at 25, but he packed a lot of living into his short life.

Larenz Tate (Love Jones) plays Lymon with high energy and exuberance.  When he's on stage, he has all the right moves and looks like the real thing.

Lymon was married three times to very different women, but he unfortunately never bothered to get divorced between marriages.

Vivica A. Fox plays wife number one, a streetwise shoplifter.  Halle Berry plays wife number two, singer Lola Taylor of The Platters, and Lela Richon is wife number three, a prim school teacher.  The women have a great time sashaying in glitzy outfits and outrageous wigs as they cat fight throughout the film.

Twenty years after Lymon's death, the wives go to court fighting for a piece of his estate.  The clever use of flashbacks tell each woman's story as one by one they take the witness stand and try to convince the judge that they are the true heir.

Lymon's descent into drinking and drugs was a result of his loss of popularity and that drama is part of this film.  But a larger part is the terrific music and the women who were with this talented little man with a large voice.

 
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