Tiffany Haddish Is the Best Part of Tyler Perry’s ‘Nobody’s Fool’
With Madea supposedly behind him, Tyler Perry has found inspiration in the supremely funny and talented Tiffany Haddish in his latest film, “Nobody’s Fool.” Haddish is undeniably the best part of this film about two sisters, one an ex-con and one a successful career woman, who try to change each other’s lives for the better.
Tika Sumpter plays Danica, a NYC ad exec who is on the path to becoming the first African-American female VP at her company after her boss (Missi Pyle) entrusts her and her colleague/bestie, Callie (Amber Riley) with a major account. Her personal life is less successful. Sure, she has a handsome engineer boyfriend, Charlie, but she has never met the guy in person, as his job on an oil rig with limited wifi means she is only able to chat on the phone and send messages. Danica does, however, receive free coffee and a rose every morning from Frank (Omari Hardwick), the handsome white knight who owns the coffee shop by her work. Her life, both real and fantasy, take a turn after her stoner mother, Lola (Whoopi Goldberg), calls and tells her that her sister, Tanya (Haddish), a former addict and thief, is being released from prison after a five-year stint. With Lola’s home, a grow house, being off-limits to Tanya, it falls on Danica to take her in.
Unapologetically abrasive and thirsty, Tanya has an infectious charm that makes her fun and easy to root for. Being a type-A person, Danica cannot help but try and reform her sister, but the help thing turns out to go both ways. The most humorous parts of the film come from Tanya’s quest to uncover Charlie’s identity. She even brings in the guys from MTV’s “Catfish,” Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, for help. After this storyline, which involves a hilarious cameo from Chris Rock, seemingly wraps up, the plot loses much of its momentum as it shifts to a cliched romance.
Like some other films from Perry, “Nobody’s Fool” feels like two movies jammed into one. Eventually, Haddish is pushed to the background as as a romance blossoms in the second half, leading to a major tonal shift. The comic is sorely missed in just about every scene she is absent from. Frank, a divorced dad and ex-con with a heart of gold, is a decent enough guy, although his pursuit of Danica borders on desperate and stalkerish at times. Determined to end up with a man who has all the qualities on her checklist, including a six-figure salary, Danica is somewhat unfairly presented as an uptight shrew for having these standards. Frank is a “good guy,” after all, something he even shouts at some point. For all his good qualities, he comes off as something of a sad puppy. Tanya, meanwhile, is the real winner, as she keeps her head up and takes down the haters and losers. Perry would be wise to keep her around for the long haul.
“Nobody’s Fool” opens Nov. 2 nationwide.