If the movie’s looseness lets in an excess of dead air, “Nobody’s Fool” is still dotted with pleasures.
Tyler Perry’s instincts as an entertainer are always sharp. Letting the comedic dynamo Tiffany Haddish have her way with his new romantic comedy-drama “Nobody’s Fool” is a typically savvy move.
Haddish worked with Perry on his television series “If Loving You Is Wrong.” Here, in this R-rated movie (a rarity for Perry), Haddish riffs and mugs with much less inhibition. As Tanya, the ex-con sister of Tika Sumpter’s successful, love-starved ad executive Danica, Haddish motormouths sentiments unsparingly and hilariously profane, garnished with deliberately squirmy sexual metaphors.
But even allowing for Haddish’s hilarious digressions, “Nobody’s Fool” is a baggy movie. In the first 50 minutes, it saunters through about 30 minutes’ worth of plot. Danica is in an online relationship that Tanya finds so suspicious that she ropes in the real-life creators of the series “Catfish: The TV Show.” In the meantime, a sweet, sensitive coffee-shop owner named Frank (Omari Hardwick) pines for Danica, while helping Tanya with employment and addiction recovery. Frank, alas, doesn’t have the qualities on Danica’s list for an ideal man; once she finds out he is an ex-con, she’s even less interested. Until their first kiss.
If the movie’s looseness lets in an excess of dead air, “Nobody’s Fool” is still dotted with pleasures besides those Haddish brings. Chris Rock has a funny cameo in which he goes near-full Redd Foxx, while Mehcad Brooks enlivens the last quarter as a dream guy who turns out to be very much less than that. Whoopi Goldberg, as the sisters’ pot-growing mom, contributes some funny stoner humor. Nonjudgmental stoner humor, at that. This is the first Perry movie I’ve seen to eschew strident moralizing, and it is all the better for that.
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“Nobody’s Fool,” with Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Chris Rock, Mehcad Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg. Written and directed by Tyler Perry. 110 minutes. Rated R for sexual content and language throughout, and for drug material. Multiple theaters. The New York Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.