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Quiz Lady- Movie Review
November 7, 2023

Synopsis: A gameshow-obsessed woman and her estranged sister work together to help cover their mother’s gambling debts.
Director: Jessica Yu
Stars: Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Will Ferrell, Holland Taylor, Jason Schwartzman

Game shows. . . who doesn’t like a game show! Family Feud, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, there is something fun about playing along with TV game shows. This makes the protagonist, Anne (Awkwafina), so relatable. From a young age, she has been obsessed with a game show called Can’t Stop the Quiz. She never misses an episode, which she watches with her loyal dog, Mr. Linguini. The ‘show’ is hosted by Terry McTeer (Will Ferrell) and, similar to Jeopardy, it tests your knowledge.

Anne has a pretty straightforward, quiet existence: Goes to work, watches her show, plays with Mr. Linguini, and deals with her uptight neighbour Francine (Holland Taylor), that is until the hurricane that is her sister Jenny (Sandra Oh) comes back into her life.

Jenny is more of a free spirit, which Oh plays brilliantly. She brings a certain level of humour to the film as the ‘slacker sister.’ While they are polar opposites, they still care for each other.

A situation arises, and Jenny is forced to move back in with her younger sister. Jenny sees that Anne hasn’t grown out of her obsession with the game show she watched as a kid. Not only that, she is really good; she rattles off the answers to all the questions.

Jenny suggests that Anne become a contestant on the show, but Anne won’t hear of it. She’s way too subconscious for that. Well, in this digital age, Jenny takes a video of her sister answering all the questions and the next thing we know. . . Anne goes viral and becomes affectionately known as Quiz Lady.

Quiz Lady is a sweet film with some touching themes. The relationship between the two sisters is nice to behold, and many will find it relatable. Awkwafina continues to develop a strong resume, showing she can do dramatic work, comedy or both.

Sandra Oh is also a chameleon, as she can blend into performances quite well. She does a great job of giving Jenny life and being one of the more entertaining characters in this project. After seeing Oh in Cat Fight and Killing Eve, it is nice to see another comedic turn.

The supporting cast is also strong. Will Ferrell didn’t mail in his performance as the game show host, and quite an endearing one. Ferrell plays a fatherly type in the film and essentially becomes everyone’s favourite host.

Jason Schwartzman took a break from working with Wes Anderson to deliver a strong performance as Ron, the long-running champion of Can’t Beat the Quiz and the would-be nemesis of Anne.

There are aspects of the film that are silly, but there are also parts that are reminiscent of films like Slumdog Millionaire.

The film is currently streaming on Disney + and is an entertaining option.

Quiz Lady is an endearing comedic ride.

Grade: B-

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