Nobody’s Fool (2018) |Movie Review|

🛑 #StopMadea 🛑

They said go see it and write about it for your blog.... so I did.

Today, I experienced my first and most likely last Tyler Perry movie on the silver screen. Nobody’s Fool is the 22nd entry in Tyler Perry’s filmography and the 12th one without his cross-dressing alter-ego. Perry is the film’s writer, director and producer, and this is his first venture into R-rated comedy. The film’s cast consists of one of the most popular comedians of today Tiffany Haddish (The Oath), Tika Sumpter (The Haves and the Have Nots), Omari Hardwick (Power), Whoopi Goldberg (The View) and Amber Riley (Glee).

 

There’s a lot to say about this one, so here’s a breakdown…

The Good

On paper, the characters are presented with some sense of realism, at least early on in the first act. Danica (Sumpter) works for a marketing company and the movie makes it a point of telling the viewer that she is leagues smarter than her older sister Tanya (Haddish) who has been in and out of jail.  Their mother, Lola (Goldberg) does not want anything to do with Tanya after she has been released from jail and forces Tanya to stay with Danica. There’s even some code-switching when Danica is at meetings with other executives at her job.  Her best friend Kalli (Riley) is also a member of her team at work and they’re the only two black people on their marketing team (salute to black women!). Frank (Hardwick) owns a coffee shop that Danica frequents daily before work and gives her a rose and free cup every morning even though she is dating a man named Charles (Mehcad Brooks). Frank was also a convicted felon in his past who turned his life around and is now on the straight and narrow.

Production wise, the film is visually more appealing than Perry’s previous outing. Mr. Madea used the money he’s made in his career to buy quality cameras and it makes all the difference in the world. Haddish has a few funny scenes and jokes that establish her as the star of the film. Goldberg does the most with what she is given, and I wish she had more scenes in the film. There’s even a cameo by a big name comedian that I don’t want to spoil that started out funny but it went on for way too long. Hardwick and Sumpter like Goldberg do the most with what they are given.

The Bad

There’s a bucketload of problems in this movie, but none of them are as atrocious as the film’s writing because it plagues the movie from the storytelling to the dialogue. As I stated earlier, the film makes it a point to let us know that Danica is intelligent, but somehow she falls in love with Charlie online. Charlie is a man she has never met in person, nor video chatted with and every time they’re going to Skype he finds an excuse on why he cannot. She sees Frank every morning and denies his advances because she’s in love with Charlie, which is fine, and that’s understandable.

When Tanya gets out of jail she calls MTV and gets her sister on an episode of Catfish. We’re still in the first act, and this movie just turns into a 20 minute episode of Catfish with Nev and Max discovering that Charlie is not who Danica thinks he is. Haddish makes a joke about wanting to have babies with Nev and Max at least 10 times in that 20 minute span. They trace Charlie’s number back to a guy named Lawrence (played by a surprise cameo). The confrontation between Haddish and the cameo starts out funny, but it goes on for too long. She and the cameo just keep talking louder and louder to get their jokes over with the audience. The big punchline at the end of the scene could’ve come sooner and it would’ve had a bigger impact on the film. Danica is heartbroken and gives Frank a shot and falls in love with him.  This is where the movie could’ve ended and we all could’ve went home and this movie would have been mediocre…🗣BUT NAH WE CAN’T HAVE THAT.

Perry decides the movie needs more drama so the next scene is set 3 months later and the real Charlie appears to shake everything up. When Danica falls in love with Charlie, she shuns Frank aka the man she’s been in love with for 3 months now, it really doesn’t make any sense. Then Frank gets his heartbroken after he overhears Danica tell Charlie that Frank is noone to her. Then Perry turns the darkskin Charlie into a complete clown for some reason. In between all these scenes is just Tiffany Haddish being LOUD and YELLING all of her lines. Some are funny but again there’s a lot more misses than hits. If she was given better dialogue or if a few of her jokes throughout the movie were left on the cutting room floor then it would’ve helped the comedy aspect in the film.

This movie had the working title of “The List” which came from a list of qualities that Sumpter’s Danica was looking for in a potential lover. She didn’t want to date a man who had been arrested like Hardwick’s Frank.  Through the whole movie she treats Frank as if he is less than human and it only gets worse after she finds out he’s done 7 years in jail. Then when they finally start to make it work she ditches him for Charlie who, again, she had never met in person. Even at her marketing job she uses the kind words told to her by Frank for a slogan for a perfume brand her agency is working for. Throughout the movie she is shown to be a terrible person and does not get any kind of comeuppance because everything bad that happens to her is undercutted by something good. Even after being catfished her sister is the one that confronts the catfisher on her behalf. Frank looks like a chump because he keeps going back to her even after Tanya calls him out for it and tells him to stop being a pushover. Frank being a former felon  and a recovering addict, the movie presents him as a character for us to have sympathy for, but it’s hard to because he keeps going back to her which, I guess, that’s his form of a relapse.

Final Thoughts

This is Perry’s 19th (NINETEENTH!) directed movie, and the trailer gives off the impression of a somewhat competent Rom-Com so shout-out to the editors. Haddish’s brand of  comedy is better suited when the director actually gives her direction instead of just letting her roam freely for almost 2 hours (110 minutes!). The few scenes with Whoopi Goldberg are genuinely funny, but they probably total up to at most 10 minutes. Tika Sumpter’s character has no redeemable qualities, which in turn makes Omari Hardwick’s character look like a sucker. Amber Riley’s character is just used to give exposition, it’s awful, she might as well be the narrator.  Even the surprise cameo just felt like he was there to get a check. Sharper directing and tighter writing would shave off at least 20 minutes of this film and would’ve made it more enjoyable. Surprised Perry didn’t just shove Madea in the film… because why not? Lastly, if you’ve seen one Tyler Perry movie then you’ve seen them all; however, he is nobody’s fool because these movies always end up in the black.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[a si a si]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Nobody’s Fool was released in theaters November 2, 2018.

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