Tiffany Haddish is hilarious, but she’s nobody’s fool, even in the movie Nobody’s Fool. This is her third movie released in five weeks. In Night School she was Kevin Hart’s foil. In The Oath she was a supporting character trying to keep her politically frustrated husband from going off the rails.
But this movie is all about Tiffany. And that’s great, until it’s not.
Bail On Jail
The plot is, or at least is supposed to be, Tanya (Tiffany) gets out of prison after five years, and moves in with her über-successful sister, Danica (Tika Sumpter). Danica’s been talking to a guy she’s never seen for a year.
Tanya crashes into her life, shakes things up, plots to call out Danica’s alleged man for catfishing her, and hilarity will ensue.
And that would make for a good, coherent comedy.
But this movie has so many unnecessary, borderline incoherent subplots going on, it gets lost. It’s great when Tiffany is being Tiffany and could go off the rails at any moment. Unfortunately it’s the movie itself that is always on the verge of going off the rails.
The Plot Doesn’t Thicken, It Frays
Tanya needs a job so she applies at the coffee shop by Danica’s work. The owner, Frank (played by the very sexy Omari Hardwick) has a thing for Danica, but he also has a past. She has a list of disqualifies and he checks several boxes.
She’s working on a mega-account but drops the ball at a crucial moment. There’s a best friend, Callie (Glee’s Amber Riley) who is made available when necessitated by the plot.
And the weed-growing mama, played by Whoopi Goldberg, who tries to be caring and consciously detached all at once.
But the worst offender of all is the twist in the last 30 minutes. Well after confronting the catfisher, who turns out to be a very funny, surprise cameo, the catfish culprit comes back into the scene.
As a viewer, we feel like we are the ones that have been catfished.
As we said in the beginning: this is Tiffany’s vehicle. She’s driving this through sheer force of comedic will. Tyler Perry was very hands off on her performance, saying he didn’t hire Tiffany for her to not be Tiffany.
After three or four takes, he would let the actors do their thing and ended up using a lot of those versions.
And when she is on-screen, she is a force. You are belly laughing and cringing at what’s gonna happen next.
But when we get to the last half hour, well after the movie could have been cleanly concluded, she disappears. The re-emergence of the catfish storyline and Danica’s emotional abuse of others on a predictable journey of self-discovery, essentially removes Tanya from the film.
Without her on-screen to drive this comedy home, the film has no center of gravity.
This movie is definitely worth renting when it comes out on demand and you can pay eight bucks for everyone to watch. But it’s clearly not worth twelve bucks each to see it in the theater. Watch the trailer, most of the best stuff is in there anyway.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
A big, tall glass of moscato. Danica has twin addictions of emotional needs and wine. We can relate to the latter.