Tiffany Haddish is making more movies than I thought possible, with several coming out within months of each other. She has a very predictable schtick but that’s what people want. They want crazy, they want over the top. So in Nobody’s Fool, does Haddish manage to top what she’s already done?
Danica (Tika Sumpter) has her life together. Great job, beautiful apartment, and a boyfriend that seems to check everything on her list. One small catch, she’s never actually met him. Or seen him. When Danica’s sister Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) gets out of jail, the first thing she decides to do is uncover who is catfishing her dear sister. We also have Whoopi Goldberg as their mother, Omari Hardwick as the charismatic owner of a coffee shop that has a crush on Danica, and Amber Riley (Glee) as Danica’s best friend and coworker.
If you came for Tiffany Haddish, well you’re in luck. My complaint with Night School was that Haddish felt underwhelming, she felt like she was holding back. Here, she goes full force and if you like her style of comedy, you should have a blast here. Now, this is a full R-rated movie, whereas Night School was PG-13. So with that bump in rating, expect raunchier jokes and more profanity (and a very odd and very explicit sex scene or two).
I also was surprised by how much I liked the catfishing angle here. The stars of the show Catfish even make an appearance as this whole investigation goes down, that was probably the highlight of the film. It was a legitimate mystery, though unfortunately resolves in the weirdest of ways.
What doesn’t work?
Whenever Tiffany Haddish wasn’t on-screen, I didn’t care about what was happening. This is a major problem considering she wasn’t even vital to the story. The actual story of Danica (Sumpter) falling love with a stranger, uncovering who that is, and then finding happiness with or without them… has nothing to do with Haddish’s character. This feels like a romantic comedy that Tyler Perry wrote before snagging Tiffany Haddish, then did a few rewrites to incorporate her. She could be cut completely from this film.
I said in the “pro” section that I enjoyed the catfishing storyline the most here, but that storyline pretty much wraps up in the middle of the movie. It resolves in the weirdest of ways, sending this plot zigging and zagging through the last third of the movie. I can’t spoil it, but Sumpter’s character is unbearable to watch (maybe intentionally?) and Haddish pretty much disappears. This movie had no point, no focus, and ultimately failed at the few things it tried to do.
As a comedy, this movie walked a fine line. Haddish is ridiculous yes, but it doesn’t always land. To be fair, I didn’t enjoy Girls Trip so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. Buuuuuut I acknowledged that the sappy inspirational part of Girls Trip was the best part of that movie. Here, we don’t get that. The sappy story here is messy and confusing and poorly written. So I’d think that even fans of Girls Trip would find this movie a little underwhelming.
I commend Tyler Perry for letting Tiffany Haddish go wild here, that puts it a notch above Night School. However, the movie that she’s in falls flat. Tika Sumpter is unlikeable as our lead, the story loses focus about halfway through, and Haddish feels like an afterthought. You might have some laughs here but this movie will be forgotten by the world in just a few weeks.