Nobody’s Fool (2018)
Directed by: Tyler Perry | 110 minutes | comedy, drama | Actors: Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley, Whoopi Goldberg, Missi Pyle, PJ Morton, Michael Blackson, Jon Ridnitsky, Chris Rock, Nev Schulman, Max Joseph, Adrian Conrad, Courtney Henggeler, Candace West, Crystal Lee Brown
With her role in ‘Girls Trip’ (2017), in which she stole the show, Tiffany Haddish broke through with the general public. Haddish is basically the female take on types like Chris Rock and Kevin Hart; a stand-up comedian with acting ambitions who makes her trademark sidekick roles in which she gets to go wild with hard, fat jokes. Often those jokes are on the raunchy side, but because Haddish delivers them with such verve, she can easily get away with it. In ‘Girls Trip’ she was surrounded by experienced actresses such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall and she did not have to pull the cart yet, but the wait is for a film in which she can shine as the big star. ‘Nobody’s Fool’ (2018) is the title of the romantic comedy written and directed by Tyler Perry (another fun guy) that could have been Haddish’s dying vehicle. However, Perry chose to bring up Tika Sumpter, with whom he has worked before, and limit Haddish’s role to that of… you guessed it: sidekick.
Sumpter plays Danica, a successful marketer who, after being badly hurt by her ex-boyfriend, now chooses to keep a little more distance in love. She takes that very literally, because she has never met her new flame Charlie in real life: he works on an oil rig, where there is no good WiFi connection. So there’s no more than a little chatting. Yet Danica is completely full of him. So full, that she ignores the advances of Frank (Omari Hardwick), from whom she gets coffee every morning. Just as she and her colleague and friend Calli (Amber Riley) are assigned a big assignment, Danica is called by her mother (Whoopi Goldberg), who kindly but urgently asks her to pick up her sister Tanya (Tiffany Haddish). Ex-addict Tanya was in prison for five years with nowhere to go, so mothers decided that she can move in with Danica until then. Tanya doubts whether her sister’s dream man exists at all, or whether she is being ‘catfished’ – causing tension between the sisters.
Anyone who expects the film to focus on the character differences between the civilized, almost frumpy Danica and the brutal and vulgar Tanya is wrong. Perry decided to focus on the two men in Danica’s life. She has idealized Charlie – he meets all the points on her list of requirements – while not realizing that Frank is also a very good match. And accessible! Haddish, who brings a lot of life to the brewery in her very own, noisy way, disappears into the background for a large part of the film. As a result, Perry takes the sting out of his film and leaves the viewer with a saltless and predictable romantic comedy that only provides the necessary excitement because of the striking sex scene and the cannabis plants of mother Whoopi Goldberg.