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Tiffany Haddish is the ingredient that makes Tyler Perry’s “Nobody’s Fool” an above-average comedy.

Most of the time, she’s the one that delivers the laughs in this movie that bears the same title, but is far different from, the 1994 Paul Newman flick.

Haddish plays Tanya, the ex-felon sister to advertising executive Danica (Tika Sumpter, “Southside With You”) who has come home after a stint in prison.

Danica seems to have it all: A great job, a wonderful coworker and best friend, Callie (Amber Riley, television’s “Glee”), and a handsome man in her life. Well … he’s a man she never has seen. Danica is in love with a man she has met online, but never has seen in person.

When Tanya arrives to stay with Danica, it doesn’t take long to start questioning Danica’s “relationship.” Tanya thinks something fishy — or should I say catfishy? — is going on, so she contacts the stars of the “Catfish” television series.

Meanwhile, the foul-mouthed, no-boundaries Tanya is astounded that Danica lives in an apartment that’s so nice that the hot water isn’t turned off after a certain hour.

Whoopi Goldberg plays the mother of Danica and Tanya because, as she explains it, the last time Tanya stayed at her house she took all her copper wire.

Every morning, Danica stops in for coffee at a shop owned by Frank (Omari Hardwick, “Sorry to Bother You,”) who obviously has fallen hard for her: He won’t take her money, and he hands her a flower when he sees her.

Danica refuses to give in to Frank because she’s so in love with the guy she never has met. Naturally, because part of Tanya's release involves finding a job, Tanya ends up working at the coffee shop.

Haddish is just plain fun to watch. Her timing, her intensity and her delivery are unparalleled.

Also enjoyable are the cameos by the real “Catfish” hosts.

Sometimes, the jokes are really funny. At other times, they’re really off. At other times, the movie’s tone shifts wildly into an intense romantic drama.

There’s a buildup to a ridiculous scene at the end that doesn’t pack much of a wallop after the buildup. Before that, the “catfish” plot line fizzles, too.

Still, some of the jokes are really funny. And because Hardwick and Sumpter have real chemistry, the steamy parts of the movie work, even though they don't always mesh with the comical sequences. It’s like watching two different movies at the same time because the film switches gears so often.

Haddish will appear — sometimes as a voice star — in at least five upcoming films. Although “Nobody’s Fool” isn’t memorable, you could do worse than spend a couple of hours with this talented actress whose star is on the rise.


Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.