Nobody’s Fool (2018)

“You are an emotional hoarder.”

Looking at my notes after snoring through most of Nobody’s Fool, I found the sentence “it just hasn’t done anything” scribbled down three separate times. This is a lousy, largely unfunny movie, and it commits the Cardinal Sin of being both bad and longer than it deserves to be. Simply put, the film has no idea what it wants to accomplish or which direction it should take, and it compromises by randomly adding elements in at an ad nauseam pace. I’m not exaggerating when I call it one of the worst films of 2018.

Danica (Tika Sumpter) seems to have it all. She’s a successful business woman, lives in an upscale apartment, and has been dating her dream guy Charlie for more than a year. Granted, she’s never met the man before. Their relationship started online, they talk and they text, he can’t video chat because he’s off working on an oil rig. Something’s not right and Danica’s false reality comes crashing down as soon as her sister Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) gets released from prison after a 5 year stint. When Danica opens her doors to Tanya, she also invites scrutiny. Tanya believes her sister and temporary roommate is being catfished (for those who don’t know, catfishing is the equivalent of being romantically duped and played for a fool.) At least the title works, I suppose.

There’s an uninteresting, on the nose side plot where Danica has to successfully brand a new signature fragrance at work. And another, as she commonly refers to her checklist for qualities in a partner, inspired by her stoner mother (Whoopi Goldberg). And yet another, as Frank (Omari Hardwick), the handsome owner of Danica’s local coffee shop, pines for this supposedly taken woman. Nobody’s Fool packs two weeks worth of outfits for what’s actually a weekend getaway, drowning in an excess of heavy baggage and lame jokes. Not even the talented cast can salvage this disaster.

My biggest takeaway from Nobody’s Fool is that Tyler Perry is both a savvy mogul and a poor filmmaker. He’s written and directed a staggering amount of pictures, and somehow not a single one of them has been very good. In this case, the writing has no originality or purpose, a fact that’s almost drowned out by the overwhelming creative freedom Haddish gets to play around with. But just when you think it’s going to take a step forward, the litany of stupid sex jokes and innuendos drags it right back to square one. I saw a promotional interview where Perry boasted that they shot the film in a mere ten days because he works fast and knows what he wants. Maybe next time he’ll slow down and try to create a proper film and not another piece of empty product.

“This shit is embarrassing.”

Rating: 1 out of 5


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