Plot: Danica (Tika Sumpter) is an ad executive with a bright future and she has a man she is wild about…even if she’s never met him. Charlie works on an oil rig and has no access to high speed internet, so Danica is unable to see him or do more than talk from time to time, but she is convinced he is the man for her. As she prepares for her biggest client ever at work, her mother Lola (Whoopi Goldberg) asks her to pick up her sister Tanya (Tiffany Haddish), who is about to be released from prison. Tanya is a wild child and a stark contrast to Danica, but with no other options available, the two will soon be spending a lot of time together. Once she learns about Charlie’s lack of internet, Tanya is convinced he is catfishing her sister, so she begins a campaign to reveal the truth, so Danica can move on. Meanwhile, a local coffeehouse owner (Omari Hardwick) tries to win her over as well, while Tanya tries to keep herself out of jail, which is no easy task for someone as impulsive as her.
Entertainment Value: Nobody’s Fool was a little misleading with the marketing, as the previews framed the movie as a Tiffany Haddish vehicle, while the actual picture is a romantic comedy focused on other characters, with Haddish as a prominent supporting presence. She still has a good amount of screen time, but she is all comic relief, so if you were interested mostly because of her presence, you might be a little let down, since she is a side character. I still think she is hilarious and as outlandish as ever here, but the movie is a traditional romantic comedy at heart and is centered on Tika Sumpter and Omari Hardwick, rather than Haddish. The tone is light, but the humor is more crude than most movies of this kind, so while it has some sweetness, it also has some bite that helps it stand out from the crowd. The narrative is fine, if quite predictable, but this genre isn’t known for original approaches, so I doubt the core audience will be put off by that in the least. I also think the movie runs too long, as it feels drawn out at times, given how thin the material is. Even so, Nobody’s Fool is a fun, usually brisk comedy that has some sharp dialogue and fun performances, so those who appreciate a little spice in their romantic comedies should have fun here.
Regardless of how the billing is ordered, Nobody’s Fool is led by Tika Sumpter, who is the central presence in the narrative. The movie follows her romantic entanglements and she is the main character, even if she isn’t the most interesting or memorable part of the picture. She is a rather generic character in fact, the kind we’ve seen time and again in the genre, a hard working, but naive and sometimes dense romantic, who can’t see the forest for the trees. But Sumpter’s performance is capable and she brings more out of the character than expected, so the role works for what it is. Omari Hardwick is the love interest and again, he is rather one note and forgettable character wise, but his effort is passable. Late in the film he is tasked to carry some light dramatic scenes and he proves unequipped to do so, but he handles the lighter moments well. The real draw however is Tiffany Haddish, who has a prominent supporting role and steals the show in every single scene she appears in. Yes, she is over the top and outrageous, but it spices up the movie and provides the bulk of the entertainment value. I know some will bemoan that she is more or less tacked on, as she has little impact on the narrative, but without her, this one would be quite bland. The cast also includes Missi Pyle, Chris Rock, Amber Riley, and Whoopi Goldberg.