Cast: Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish, Whoopi Goldberg, Omari Hardwick
Director: Tyler Perry
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by the book sister Danica (Tika Sumpter) to help her get back on track. As these polar opposites collide — with hilarious and sometimes disastrous results — Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life — including her mysterious boyfriend — may not be what it seems.
If the best thing you can say about a movie is that it is not as bad as it could have been, you know you are in for a rough ride. Anytime I see something that has Tyler Perry’s name attached to it, I am extremely cautious as his films make a ton of money, but that does not mean they are the easiest ones to watch. I have a hard time thinking this film would be even remotely good without the presence of Haddish or Goldberg, so everyone involved better be thanking these two for signing on to this movie. While Haddish and Goldberg are funny enough to carry the movie, they can only carry it so far before the wheels fall off and Nobody’s Fool comes to a screeching halt.
The film follows Danica (Sumpter), a high-level executive at an advertising firm whose sister Tanya (Haddish) is getting out of jail and needs a place to live. Danica is obviously hesitant about inviting a former felon into her home, and the two sisters must learn to overcome their differences so that they may live in harmony. Needless to say when you have a legendary talent like Goldberg and one of the funniest women in the industry with Haddish, you know that the film will at least be serviceable. I had some serious doubts about whether or not this film would actually be funny, and to my pleasure the film had moments that were actually enjoyable. The one-liners, particularly from Haddish, were much smarter than I anticipated and were truly the difference maker between this being an average comedy and an awful comedy. On the other hand, while this is obviously not the best film or performance of Goldberg’s career, she is another main reason why the movie was better than what I anticipated. Goldberg is barely in the film, but when she is, her scenes are either absurdly funny or heartwarming and charming, and this is due to Goldberg’s experience as an master-class actress who can handle any role she chooses. Outside of these two talented, funny, actresses, the film fails to deliver anything tangibly different from any other simple comedy out there. At some point, the film goes from a comedy to a 110 minute advertisement for the show Catfish. This product placement was absolutely pathetic and while I do not expect the greatest movies of all time from Perry, I would never think he would need to stoop to this desperate of a move to get his film off the ground. Maybe focusing more on elevating these characters into something other than one-dimensional caricatures and stereotypes instead of using themes and referencing that the audience already knows would have made Nobody’s Fool something unique and special. Instead, Perry played it safe with this movie, and I never go into a comedy thinking, “boy I hope this movie sticks to the same tropes as every other comedy and refuses to try anything new or interesting,” so needless to say there was an area for the film to grow that was not taken advantage of.
Overall, this is the type of movie that lives and dies by its casting choices. I was nervous for Haddish because she seems to be chasing the paycheck with her recent appearances, but she is one of the main reasons why this film will not end up in WalMart’s bargain bucket. Goldberg shows us that she still has some solid performances left in her tank and the cameo from Chris Rock gave this film a much-needed spark as it started to die down. I knew the script would not be great just by the premise of this movie, but these actors take a poor script and take Nobody’s Fool from a bad movie to at least an enjoyable one.
Overall Score: 4/10