Movies Revisted: Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Sorry about the lack of posting. Sis-Star Issa Rae is moving from East Coast to West, and my laptop went kablooey. I know my excuse is not that great, but for some reason I detest blogging on a desktop. My delivery isn’t until tomorrow, but I didn’t want another day to go by without a post. See the sacrifices I make for art? lol
It was a bit of a sacrifice initially to watch the 1998 film “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” as well, cause I didn’t remember it fondly. This is another film from the 90’s that I saw, but only remembered sketchy details. I think part of why I took a while to rewatch it is because of Lorenz Tate. Tho he seems like a pretty affable guy in real life, I usually have a big problem with the way he is cast. He just looks like a little kid, no matter what. It makes it hard to take him seriously. He is earnest about his acting, no doubt, but I feel that he was a major flaw in two films; “Dead Presidents” and “Love Jones”. Love Jones is a perennial community favorite, but I could never buy him as a sexy, romantic figure, and think it would have miles away been a better film with someone else in the lead. The same with Dead Presidents.
Not so with this film. For those of you that don’t know, Why Do Fools Fall In Love is the story of Frankie Lymon, a singer whose popularity reached it’s peak in the early 60’s. He was a kid when he hit, and died very young at the age of 25, a drug addict with his short height and baby face intact. For this reason Tate is made for for the role of Lymon. It seems like paperlight material, and it is to a certain degree, but it gets an added dimension that when Frankie died, he had 3 wives all claiming to still be married to him, all clamoring for a piece of his royalties. It was much more compelling to me this time around.
The standouts in this film are between the wives. It starts off gangbusters, with Vivica Fox in prison, who shortly gets sprung only to have a showdown with another wife, Halle Barry. And yes, Clifton Powell is in this movie too, as Berry’s attorney. I think the scenes between Vivica and Halle are just about the most interesting I’ve seen either one of them. Vivica is certainly at the top of her game (what happened?) as Lymon’s first wife, a serial shoplifter hardened by her criminal life and her hardships with Frankie. She is the 180 polar opposite of Berry, who plays glamorous singer Zola Taylor, a member of the legendary R&B group The Platters.
Add to this another complication–a third wife played by Lela Rochon. Rochon is not much of an actress, but even she is well suited for the role as a schoolteacher who doesn’t say much, but is nice to look at. Perfect.
The film fleshes out the backstories of each one of his three marriages, and how they all feel justified that each one of them is really the true wife. What we learn about Frankie is that he was basically a flash in the pan, on the very last vestiges of Doo Wop before music was taken over by The Beatles and psychedelic pop and rock. Somehow he could never quite let it go and move on, which left him a self-centered, selfish drug addict, that for the most part seemed to live by impulse and whim. Strong evidence of this is that he never made completely sure he was divorced from one wife before moving on to the next.
During the ending credits they show the real Frankie Lymon, who resembled something of a mutated Gary Coleman gremlin. Why would 3 women worth their salt be bothered with such a dude for 10 minutes? He absolutely destroyed each one of their lives individually, from which they never seemed to completely recover. Well, a conversation between the 3 of them at one point in the movie reveals why, and they all heartily mutually agree. Being p*ssy and d*ck whipped is the devil incarnate, folkses.
On a sidenote, this could very easily be “The Lil’ Wayne Story”, who is Frankie Lymon 2.0. Cast that chick Toya (one of Wayne’s baby mamas) who has that show with Tiny on BET as the Lela Rochon country good girl. “Singer” Nivea, who at this writing is pregnant with his baby in the Vivica Fox hoodrat role, and the beautiful Lauren London, who I am very sad to say is pregnant with Wayne’s baby at the same time as Nivea, completes the dysfunctional circle in Halle Berry’s beautiful Hollywood girl role.
And of course in the middle of it all, not losing any sleep and substance abusing it up all the while is gremlin-like Lil’ Wayne, who probably never thinks or reflects for a second on all the havoc he’s wreaked. But I have heard that he can definitely put it down, ifyaknowwhatimean. *sigh* The more things change, the more they stay the same :-( Here is the trailer: