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Why Do Fools Fall in Love [VHS]

72 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox, Lela Rochon, Larenz Tate, Paul Mazursky
  • Directors: Gregory Nava
  • Writers: Tina Andrews
  • Producers: Gregory Nava, Bruce Franklin, Harold Bronson, Mark Allan, Paul Hall
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 3, 2001
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790739305
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,528 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Music-based romantic drama about the late singer/songwriter Frankie Lymon, who was responsible for many hit records but whose self-destructive life ended early, with many relationships left unresolved. three women, each claiming to be his wife, each with

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The filmmakers know you've heard this tale before - true life chronicle of a young singing star's rise and tragic fall - and so they wisely downplay the standard bio trappings and instead focus on a raucously entertaining ride through Frankie Lymon's woman troubles. The smart screenplay revolves around the court battle of Lymon's three wives (yes, three!) over song royalties, leading to vivid (and often humorously contradictory) flashbacks of their lives with the singer. Larenz Tate is magnetic playing the many different sides of the ever-changing lead character, but the film ultimately belongs to Halle Berry, Vivica A. Fox and Lela Rochon as the wives. Each is allowed to shine as the trio portrays 30 years of changes in the women's lives, with Fox drop-dead hilarious as the most outrageous of the three. There's beautifully detailed '60s-era cinematography, sets, costuming and musical numbers, plus a side-splitting turn by Miguel Nunez as a young Little Richard. Major issues (such as '60s race relations) are barely glanced at, but what this film lacks in depth, it makes up for ten-fold in entertainment value. A winner!
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By The Fancy One on June 9, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I really didn't care for this movie very much. I suppose those who say they love it don't really know anything about Frankie Lymon or his music, and saw it as just another film about a famous singer who died before his time. It barely mentions anything about young Lymon's career with the Washington Heights' kid doo-wop group he started out with, The Teenagers - instead the focus was on his three wives fighting in court over whom was most entitled to the small fortune he left behind. In 1968, Frankie died at age 26 of a heroin overdose, but the story itself takes place in the 1980s, nearly 20 years after Lymon's death. Instead of a true biography of this young man's tragic story, we got this.

"Why Do Fools Fall In Love?", which obviously takes its title from the hit song that Lymon co-wrote, never really gives you the reason why Frankie (played by the talented actor Larenz Tate) was so very important in the history of R&B/rock and roll. He was a superstar by the time he was 13, but he was thrust into an adult world way before he should have. He experienced too much too soon - he lived fast, loved and partied hard, and died young. Ignoring the fact that he was the first teenaged idol of rock and roll (like the little Michael Jackson of his era) and was a huge influence on other kid groups that would come after his, in this film Frankie was overwhelmingly (and sometimes unfairly) portrayed as nothing more than some '50s rock n' roll has-been who was a womanizer, bigamist, and a violent drug addict. That in itself is a gross disservice to the memory of Frankie and his musical legacy. There were so many things about the life of this gifted young man that was not even addressed here, and it is downright insulting to his fans to try to pass this off as a biopic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on June 15, 2007
Format: DVD
One of my favorite contemporary directors, today, is the great filmmaker, Gregory Nava. Nava is known best for the powerful EL NORTE, MI FAMILIA (MY FAMILY) and SELENA. He has great ability to combine warm humor with high drama, and [oftentimes] succeeds in shaping very compelling characters in the great stories he tells. Unfortunately, I don't feel that this really took place in WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE.

Frankie Lymon (Larenz Tate) was a legend, during his heyday. At thirteen years old, he was the lead singer of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. He also co-wrote the hit "Why Do Fools Fall In Love." This catapulted him into stardom, during the height of the do-wop era, in the United States. Not only was a trailblazer, due to his young age, but The Teenagers were a multiracial group, at a time where that was pretty progressive (the mid-1950s). Two of his band members were Puerto Rican, and Lymon and the other Teenagers were African-American. Success seemed synonymous with the name Frankie Lymon, but, as they say, "everyone will get their fifteen minutes of fame." Frankie's success took a u-turn, once his voice changed, and he began his descent into heroin addiction. In between his highs (and catastrophic lows--including the turbulent break-up between Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers), that left time and room for him in his schedule to get married to three women--at the same time! Of course, it wasn't nearly as straightforward as that. Botched court papers, troubles with addiction and unfinalized divorces led to this predicament. In the 1980s, the three women met face to face, and went on to take each other on in court, to determine who was to inherit Lymon's $4 million fortune. This co-stars Halle Berry, Lela Rochon and Vivica A. Fox, as the wives in question.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. GERALD on August 23, 2005
Format: DVD
I enjoy watching this movie but it is by no means a good film. I'm only 25 but I'm a big fan of the doo-wop era and the movie really doesn't do the Frankie Lymon story justice. Larenz Tate does his very best but he was too old to play Frankie Lymon. Frankie was only 13 when he hit it big and the film never goes into the real tradegy that was Frankie Lymon, the first teenage rock'n'roll superstar and the first over the hill celebrity. You can only imagagine what a fall that must have been. I've heard that his voice changed when he hit puberty and that's when his career went sour. The movie completely ignores these details of Frankie's life and centers on the women who fought over his estate when he died. An interesting back story but Frankie's talent deserved more

That being said, I do enjoy watching this movie. Tate does what he can in the concert parts but I wish there had been more. All in all it is a cute little story. My favorite part is the very end when you get to see a small glimpse of the real Frankie Lymon and you can see that one of his shows must of been pure magic. I wish the speacial features would have had a documentary with some more vintage Frankie Lymon clips.

Worth buying but get it used or at a discount
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