Tyler Perry’s latest movie Nobody’s Fool is exactly what you would expect it to be. Perry hasn’t exactly been creating critical darlings but he has an incredibly loyal audience that continues to make hits out of these bad movies. I sat in amazement as my theater howled and screamed with laughter throughout a movie that was void of anything resembling comedy or good filmmaking. The problems with the movie are endless and it suffers from the same problem that most of his movies suffer from, a lack of reality. He often misses the details that bring the story to life and make it feel tangible. These crucial details are casually thrown aside for more drama, or in the case of Nobody’s Fool poor attempts at raunchy humor and drama. Characters have jobs, but they aren’t all that clear and they don’t seem like any job in the real world. They interact with each other in ways that aren’t real and they act in ways that nobody in the real world would. There is not one part of Nobody’s Fool that feels grounded in an actual reality and that makes the whole movie dead on arrival.
The movie is marketed as a movie about two sisters. Danica (Tika Sumpter) tries to help her sister, Tanya (Tiffany Haddish), get back on her feet after she is released from jail. For a while this is what the movie is about but about halfway through Haddish disappears from the screen and this whole storyline is pushed aside for a romance. After a bad break up, Danica gets involved with a man she met online. When Tanya hears the specifics of the relationship (they’ve never physically met because he’s been on an oil rig with bad Wi-Fi for the duration of their year long relationship) Tanya thinks Danica is being catfished. Enter Frank (a very charming Omari Hardwick), the ex-felon owner of the coffee shop that Danica frequents. Frank has been interested in Danica for a while and after some nudging by Tanya a romance is sparked between the two. It ends up feeling like two separate movies, each of which has more plot than necessary and far less humor that is needed for it to work.
As far as romantic comedies go, Nobody’s Fool is as overly complicated and ridiculous as it gets. That can be mostly attributed to the movie’s screenplay. From a narrative standpoint the whole thing is a mess. Between the aforementioned problems with the plot and its lack of reality, it also suffered from pacing problems and underdeveloped characters. There isn’t anything of substance to attach to any character pass surface level traits. On that level they don’t feel real and that makes it impossible to connect with any of them. This can also be attributed to the directing and the performers themselves, both of which were as bad as the screenplay. The characters feel like a caricature of what that person would normally be like. This leads characters to act in over the top ways that don’t feel genuine and without any humor it’s just awkward to watch.
The cast as a whole isn’t all that bad of a cast. Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick and Whoopi Goldberg are a solid base to build a film around. But what looked promising ended up being disappointing because Hardwick was the only performance that worked for me. At this point Tiffany Haddish is what she is, which unfortunately is the same thing in every performance. She is a loud, bombastic personality that fills up the room and with the right script that works well. This script was not the right one because she was as insufferable as I have seen her up to this point. None of what she was doing was working and she didn’t really seem to fit into the movie. Goldberg plays Lola, Tanya and Danica’s mom, and she provided some humor but her bit as a weed growing stoner was awkward and out of place. The lead Tika Sumpter was just as out of place. She provided no energy, didn’t have much chemistry with Hardwick and this could be the cause for the whole movie feeling flat. Her character wasn’t all that compelling and I found her to be more complicated than interesting. She was a pretty bad person throughout the whole movie and didn’t seem to have a meaningful arc. I think the script let her down more than she let it down but her performance was very disappointing.
Nobody’s Fool is a bad movie. There isn’t much that is redeemable or positive to say about it. It falls short as a drama, a comedy and a romance. The humor is tasteless, off-putting, and the experience wasn’t all that fun. Even as a mindless feel-good comedy, it doesn’t really work. With that being said this is a movie made for that incredibly loyal audience I mentioned before. It fits right in line with the rest of Tyler Perry’s movies. If you like those movies, then there is a good chance that you will like this one, so go to the theater and have the great time you’re looking for. For anybody else I would recommend that you skip over this movie and save your money.
1 out of 5 stars
Director: Tyler Perry Writer: Tyler Perry Starring: Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick Release Date: November 2nd Rated: R Runtime: 1 hour and 50 minutes