If you’re looking for a casual movie that will put you in a good mood, you’ve just found it. Quiz Lady is a lighthearted comedy featuring a refreshing Asian twist and a familiar story. We will be following two sisters who are complete opposites of each other brought together by their mother’s criminal shenanigans. Once together, the free-spirited Jenny will try to convince shy Anne to appear on her favorite game show, Can’t Stop the Quiz to get the money they need. Do you watch game shows? I wonder if this is still a thing as people are always streaming shit nowadays.
In the olden days, these game shows brought families together and gave kids something to do. Especially if mommy and daddy had something else to do. One of the biggest ones is Wheel of Fortune, a game show that’s been running continuously since 1981. And we also shouldn’t forget about Jeopardy! with the iconic Alex Trebek. In the lead roles, we have Awkwafina and Sandra Oh, and both of them were terrific. Sandra was especially entertaining, playing this quite interesting stereotype of a sister who dreams of fame and money. And Awkwafina was just as good as her misanthropic sister.
Quiz Lady is sufficiently authentic and raunchy not to be considered one of those dumb mainstream comedies trying to capitalize on the huge Asian market. This is not some cheesy affair like Crazy Rich Asians and it’s not exactly as fucked up as Beef, the television show. I mean, I’m sure that this trend is part of the equation but it’s not the main thing about this movie. In the front and center, we have the relationship between our two sisters. It feels quite realistic despite all the crazy shit Sandra Oh’s character is pulling all the time. Bolstered by strong performances, this part of the movie is also emotional at times.
And if you ever wondered what’s my day job, it’s quite similar to Anne’s. I know those spreadsheets better than my own children. Whom I do not have. Oh shit, I almost forgot to tell you who the host of that game show is. It’s none other than Will fucking Ferrell. It was also nice to see Jason Schwartzman who hasn’t aged a day since I saw him in the drug-fueled mayhem that is 2002’s Spun. Quiz Lady is a movie that sets out to do a lot of different things. Its honest approach and vibrant atmosphere will bring a smile to your face. Additionally, the pacing is fast, and the running time is short (90 minutes).
And every fifteen minutes we will get a new twist or a bizarre situation, keeping the atmosphere exciting. Since the story is quite predictable, you need things like this to keep the momentum going. Not all movies have to be revolutionary and unique. Sometimes you want to watch something vaguely familiar but from a fresh perspective. And this is exactly what Quiz Lady does.
Director: Jessica Yu
Writer: Jen D’Angelo
Cast: Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Will Ferrell, Holland Taylor, Jason Schwartzman, Jon Park, Tawny Newsome
Fun Facts: Will Ferrell’s character Terry McTeer, a game show host, is inspired by Alex Trebek who led Jeopardy! game show for more than forty years.