Nobody’s Fool hasn’t change much for me since around Halloween. So, my old thoughts still hold up. Sometimes, I like to add a new take, but I’ve got nothing. Hopefully this film spices up your Valentine’s Day. If it does, please explain to me how that worked. I’d be curious to hear it.
Thirty minutes into the film, I realized that I’ve seen this story before. Like it or not, we’re getting a modern Blaxploitation take on Napoleon Dynamite’s brother’s online dating subplot. That’s right, kids. The film is Tyler Perry’s first R-rated comedy romp into the world of gender norms and online catfishing. Haddish plays the ex-con sister who has to keep her straight-laced sister from getting conned by her online dream man. Meanwhile, Tika Sumpter is trying to mine all she can out of a Tyler Perry where she has to play the straight man.
Sumpter is great at saying that she can challenge how women are allowed to date. Meanwhile, Haddish reaches peak Haddish as she becomes Perry’s avatar for sizing up the rotten modern world. I’ve seen a lot of readers being wary of Haddish digging deeper into the Girls Trip character well. She kinda does it, but she also embraced being in an R-rated Perry movie. Language is saucier than I’ve seen in his other films, however the melodrama dials down even with the drug use.
In a word, it’s odd. Everyone gives Tyler Perry grief for sticking to the same old structure, but he has done something different. In the press lead-up to this film, all Perry seems to talk about now is killing off Madea. I get the desire to bust out of old stand-bys, but it doesn’t seem like the new material is solid yet. Audiences will see the film for Haddish, but Tika Sumpter seems to be striking on what can make Perry films work going forward.