You’re a fool if you see this.
Synopsis: Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya looks to her buttoned-up, by the book sister Danica 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. (Paramount Pictures)
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, and Omari Hardwick
Writer: Tyler Perry
Director: Tyler Perry
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 110mins
You’ve seen this film before. A character with a seemingly perfect life has their lives turned upside down by a long lost, completely opposite character. That same character who has everything going right, except for relationship troubles, is also being catfished. This character also happens to be incredibly superficial and almost pretentious. Exhausted yet? Nobody’s Fool tried to be all those things and while it may have worked in 2001, it doesn’t quite work as well today. Today, the film itself is a mess and is much longer than it ever needed to be. Ultimately, the film’s derivative nature and its unlikable characters along with its length, clocking in at just under 2 hours, makes it a chore to watch (the film even finds a way to tease us about it).
The story here was extremely predictable and relied on obnoxious characters and cliches. The story for the most part was revealed in the film’s many trailers, involving a pair of sisters named Danica (Sumpter) and Tanya (Haddish). Danica was the sister with the seemingly perfect life while Tanya was just released from prison. Needing to get her life back on track, Tanya of course moved in with Danica and of course began to turn her life upside down. The usual hijinks ensued but most importantly (or not), Tanya decided to get involved in Danica’s love life.
Danica was obsessed with finding the perfect man and had thought she had found one in a man named Charlie, however, she had never met him as all of their communication had been over the phone. Everyone around her believed that Danica was being catfished though she was adamant that her man was real. Tanya took it upon herself to prove that Danica was being catfished (this may have been the gimmick from the trailers but it was only 1/4 of the entire story). Meanwhile, she was close with a coffee shop owner named Frank (Hardwick). Frank had feelings for Danica, however, Danica was too obsessed with Charlie to notice. Complicating things even further was the fact that Tanya put herself in the middle of them by taking a job at Frank’s coffee shop.
Another problem with the film was the inconsistent tone. It’s kind of understandable as the film awkwardly shifts between a raunchy comedy to a romance to a drama. It, more specifically Tanya, needlessly brough on the raunchiness where it wasn’t needed which was whenever she appeared on screen. The raunchiness reeked of desperation and served no purpose other than for the sake of it which only distracted from the story as a whole. She was simply obnoxious while adding nothing whatsoever to the story. The film itself would surely have been better without the character. The film as a whole was just not funny at all.
The worst part of the film was its characters. The worst culprit was Haddish’s Tanya. Tanya was an obnoxiously over the top character for no discernable reason which overshadowed her weak redemption arc. Some will surely find her hysterical but many will just find her annoying. Sumpter’s Danica was both unlikable and incredibly dull as a character. Neither of them were worth caring about which made them tedious to watch. Hardwick was okay as Frank. Though he was the only likable character, he was more a plot device than an actual character. Whoopi Goldberg was also in the film for whatever reason as Danica and Tanya’s mother Lola who appropriately wanted nothing to do with either of her daughters. Good call.
Overall, this was obnoxiously derivative, lazy, overlong, irritatingly unfunny, and dull mess of a film that brings nothing new to the table. The film would have been much better served by dropping Tiffany Haddish’s character all together and choosing one story instead of what it did here. Haddish deserves more than just being the gratuitous, over the top, comedic character. As a whole, the film felt more like a film from 2001 than 2018 and that’s not a good thing.