PLOT A well-heeled woman falls for a rough-edged barista.
CAST Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish, Omari Hardwick
RATED R (language and sexual scenes)
BOTTOM LINE Haddish is wasted in another of Tyler Perry’s scattershot dramedies.
Another year, another Tyler Perry movie — actually two of them, as sometimes happens. Having put out nearly 20 movies in just more than a decade, Perry has surely logged the proverbial 10,000 hours required to become a great filmmaker. “Nobody’s Fool,” his latest, however, suggests that his movies are, if anything, getting worse. Not even the presence of Tiffany Haddish, the high-energy star of last year’s “Girls Trip,” can make this Perry movie watchable.
Once again, Perry puts a good cast into a muddy story that lacks a clear premise, plot or theme. In "Nobody's Fool," Tika Sumpter plays Danica, an executive at a fancy ad agency. She’s a standard Perry heroine: ultra-upscale and ultra-conscious of it. She's being wooed by a local barista, Frank (Omari Hardwick), but he's far too low on her social ladder to merit a date. At any rate, Danica has an online beau, Charlie, who seems perfect, though they’ve never actually met.
Enter Haddish as Tanya, Danica’s no-good sister, freshly sprung from prison. Foul-mouthed, drug-crazed and wildly promiscuous, Tanya is a rough-edged rehash of Haddish’s party-hearty character in “Girls Trip.” Savvier than her sister, Tanya instantly divines that Charlie is a fake. With the help of MTV’s real-life “Catfish” hosts Nev Schulman and Max Joseph (both struggling to stay straight-faced as Haddish uses them for improv fodder), Tanya shows her sister she’s been duped.
You can probably see where this is heading, perhaps better than the movie can. After Danica and Tayna get on each other’s nerves (and ours), their kooky mother (Whoopi Goldberg) brings them unconvincingly back together. Danica and Frank, meanwhile, begin dating (here the movie turns suddenly quite explicit) but they keep breaking up because she’s such a snob. An interesting plot twist arrives, but too late in the game. By now we don’t care about Danica’s romance, her family or her happiness. We’ve had it.
Perry remains an impressively prolific writer-director, seemingly able to whip up characters and situations with ease, but his stories mostly go nowhere, his scenes fizzle and he seems to barely direct his actors. “Nobody’s Fool” ends the way so many Perry films do, with one big unanswered question: “What the heck is this movie about?”