When the pandemic hit, my mother and I have a standing appointment after dinner to watch and play along with ‘Jeopardy’ followed up by ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Then later on, we’ watch $20,000 Pyramid, Celebrity Family Feud or Press Your Luck. I guess one could even categorize us as game show junkies. Every once in a while my brother will join in who literally will be doing anything, but watching the show and answer all of the questions 100% correct without hesitation. If I didn’t know better, I would swear he was the inspiration for Anne.
Anne (Awkafina) and her estranged train-wreck of a sister, Jenny (Sandra Oh), get called into the assisted living facility where their mother lives only to discover she is lost. While the sisters embark upon a journey to find her, they discover their mother has a sizeable amount of gambling debts. Not only are they threatened to cough up the coins and must work together to retrieve Anne’s beloved dog, Linguini who has been kidnapped until the debt is settled,
As they set out on a wild cross-country trek to get the cash, the sisters discover that everyone has a purpose in life, we just need to find out what it is. Directed by Jessica Yu, one couldn’t find a perfect duo to star in a female centric buddy film than Sandra Oh and Awkwafina. Although, most audiences have become accustomed to witnessing Awkwafina in mostly comedic roles and Oh primarily known for her amazing Emmy winning work on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and in the Oscar winning film ‘Sideways, together they compliment each other’s strength effortlessly making Quiz Lady absolutely hysterical with a dark realistic edge making siblings and parents all over the globe take a look at themselves for the truth that lies underneath.
The film also pokes fun at the absurdity of game show contestants while simultaneously tapping into the sentimentality of it’s show history with fans, as Willy Wonka’ish, Alex Trebeck type characters imparts words of wisdom telling Anne “…not to focus on winning but instead to think about the memories she hopes to carry with her,” giving the Quiz Lady its heart and soul.
Quiz Lady is screening at the 2023 AFI Film Festival and can be streamed via HULU on November 4th.