QUIZ LADY (2023)
Release Date: 11/03/23 [Hulu]
Studio: 20th Century Studios.
"A game-show-obsessed woman and her estranged sister work together to help cover their mother's gambling debts."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
I love game shows. Jeopardy!, of course, and The Price is Right are both classic staples in most American households—but growing up, I watched it all on The Game Show Network: Family Feud, The Match Game, Press Your Luck, The Newlywed Game, etc. etc. etc. My favorite games were definitely knowledge based as opposed to chance or luck because, as dorky as it may sound, I loved learning while being entertained and it also allowed me to test my knowledge.
In Quiz Lady, Anne (Awkwafina) is completely obsessed with the made-up Jeopardy!-inspired game show Can’t Stop the Quiz hosted by Terry McTeer (Will Ferrell). She is a loyal super-fan, but could easily step in as a contestant, knowing every answer to the questions asked on the show. The show also serves a much more emotional relief from her childhood trauma, serving as an escape from reality. Anne grows up to be an introverted, shoulder-slumped, simple woman who is basically invisible at work and goes home to her chonky pug, Mr. Linguine, and never misses an episode of Can’t Stop the Quiz. When her estranged sister, Jenny (Sandra Oh), shows up she completely turns Anne’s world upside down. Jenny is eccentric, just as loud as she is colorful, and is unafraid of any thing that comes her way. When Anne and Jenny learn about their mother’s escape from her nursing home and $80k in gambling debt, the chaos takes off.
Obviously neither sister can come up with the $80k, so what will happen next? Jenny turns to what she knows, social media, and films Anne during an episode of Can’t Stop the Quiz, revealing her talents and making her go viral as “the Quiz Lady”. This earns her a shot at an audition for the show and unwanted fame. This is where the fun and chaos really begins. Anne knows she has to do this because the bad guys her mom owes her debts to have kidnapped Mr. Linguine,
Awkwafina and Oh have good chemistry and while there were few moments that made me chuckle, I never really found myself reaching an actual belly laugh I was hopeful for. Overall, Quiz Lady is an enjoyable film about growth and sisterhood (featuring a really funny guest star appearance by Tony Hale) but I really haven’t found myself with anything special to say about it. It checks all the boxes but it’s still nothing spectacular, unless you are obsessed with game shows.