What would you do if you had to embark on a crazy road trip with a chance to win big? “Quiz Lady,” written by Jen D’Angelo and directed by Jessica Yu, shows a heartwarming story with funny beats and a strong female cast.
Nora Lum stars as Anne, a timid accountant obsessed with the nightly game show “Can’t Stop the Quiz,” a pastiche of “Jeopardy.” She watches it every night with her dog right by her side. Estranged sister Jenny, played by Sandra Oh, famous from “Grey’s Anatomy,” arrives on her doorstep with the news that her mother is in a serious rut: over $80,000 in gambling debt. The only proposition would be to win the money from “Can’t Stop the Quiz.”
The film follows Anne and Jenny on a crazy road trip to Philadelphia, where Anne will audition for the show. Along the way, they encounter a variety of colorful characters and situations, including a Ben Franklin impersonator (Tony Hale), a smug contestant (Jason Schwartzman) and, of course, the quiz show’s host, Terry McTeer (Will Ferrell). Ferrell’s performance is one of the highlights of the cast, reminiscent of his parody of Alex Trebek on “Saturday Night Live.”
The film’s slapstick elements are mostly successful, and audiences who enjoy comedy can look forward to funny moments. However, the film’s strongest moments are the dramatic ones, particularly those between Anne and Jenny. The film explores the complex relationship between the estranged sisters with honesty and sensitivity. Lum and Oh have excellent chemistry together, and they bring their characters to life with humor and depth.
One of the things that makes “Quiz Lady” a good watch is its message about the power of sisterhood. Anne and Jenny have their differences, but they ultimately come together to support each other as they dig their mother out of her immense hole of debt. Part of the story revolves around Anne’s interest in “Can’t Stop the Quiz” since the age of four, having become a source of comfort and stability in her life amid familial changes regarding their father. Anne is afraid of failure, and she is hesitant to step outside of her comfort zone.
Jenny, on the other hand, is not afraid to take risks, and she is always up for a new adventure as a free-spirited artist. Sometimes, these impulses lead to irresponsible decision-making, but she is always willing to put the right foot forward to help her family.
Anne and Jenny have a complicated relationship with each other and with their mother, who takes sporadic trips for gambling. Still, they ultimately come together to support each other and achieve their goals. The film is a reminder that some of the most difficult situations can be helped with love and forgiveness.
This comedy is a fun and heartwarming film with elements that can appeal to a wide audience. It is sure to leave viewers feeling inspired with a laugh. Produced by Twentieth Century Studios, you can watch “Quiz Lady” as a special on FX (Huskyvision channel 70) or on-demand with a Hulu subscription.
Rating: 3/5 Pugs