Why Do Fools Fall In Love

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Frankie Lymon (Larenz Tate) became a rock and roll sensation in the early sixties with the hit recording "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." This film begins some 20 years later as his three widows go to court, each claiming royalty rights to that song. Through flashbacks, Elizabeth (Vivica Fox), Zola (Halle Berry) and Emira (Lela Rochon) describe their relationship with the magnetic singer. Streetwise Elizabeth overlooked his shabby apartment and needle marks on his arms when he promised the shoplifting single mother a mink coat. Glamorous Zola testifies in court that she and Frankie fell in love when they were each part of the successful "Platters" singing group. When his career took a nose-dive, she was the only one who cared. The third wife, Emira, describes meeting the former singer as a serviceman stationed in her quiet Southern hometown. In spite of Frankie's sordid short life, the women's tales are both humorous and poignant. The film is based on fact, and Frankie Lymon's recordings are used throughout the film. The nostalgic rock and roll numbers are lively and fun to watch, but Why Do Fools Fall in Love rambles on for almost two hours.

Frankie's drug addiction ultimately destroys him, and the film's violence is mostly drug-related. In a drug-induced frenzy, he accidentally drops Elizabeth's beloved dog out a window. Drug dealers beat him severely when he misses a payment, and he leaves Zola's elegant home in shambles after one of his binges. Frankie's business associates betray him, taking advantage of the young man's naivet. Elizabeth is a prison inmate when she decides to pursue money from Frankie's estate, even if it means lying in court. She describes how she supported Frankie's drug habit by prostituting herself and is shown soliciting with a very crude sexual invitation. There are two sex scenes, one obscured through a window. Another time he and Zola are shown having sex but no nudity is shown. It is implied a few other times as couples begin undressing each other. Although immoral behavior has negative consequences, endless foul language, including 63 obscenities and 5 regular profanities, earns Why Do Fools Fall in Love an unacceptable rating.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times-Mild 5, Moderate 15

Obscene Language: Many (63) times (f-word 29, s-word 30, other 4)

Profanity: Several (8) times-Regular 5 (JC 1, GD 2, Jeez 2); Exclamatory 3

Violence: Few times-Moderate (man beaten and kicked by drug dealers, brief fist fight, dog dropped out of window, house interior destroyed)

Sex: Twice (once brief and obscured through window, once with graphic movements from shoulders up); implied few times (couple start undressing each other; couple on wedding night fall into bed)

Nudity: None; Near Nudity few times (low-cut dresses; woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (prostitute solicits sex; women make jokes about ex-husband's sexual prowess; passionate kissing)

Drugs: Many times (addict with needle marks, drug dealers selling heroin, drinking in bars, smoking cigarettes)

Other: Consequences for immoral behavior

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.