Hulu’s Quiz Lady is an often hilarious film that capitalizes on the charisma of Sandra Oh and Awkwafina.
Just like Anne (Awkwafina, of The Farewell), one of Quiz Lady’s protagonists, I am also obsessed with trivia. There is a certain thrill that comes with searching your brain for the most random pieces of information in a competitive setting that I find somewhat addicting. While I won’t have nearly as exciting a journey as Anne to get onto a trivia-centered game show, it is definitely on my bucket list, and the idea of a film having its climatic moments being a round of trivia is what initially attracted me to Hulu’s latest movie.
Quiz Lady follows estranged sisters Anna and Jenny (Sandra Oh, of Turning Red) who come together when they are notified that their elderly mother has gone missing. Soon, they realize that their mother fled the country, leaving them with thousands of dollars of gambling debts. When the debt collectors kidnap Anne’s dog, they realize that the only probable way to pay off the debt is to win “Can’t Stop the Quiz,” the game show that Anne watches religiously.
While this concept is decently original, every beat of this film feels familiar, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Director Jessica Yu creates an atmosphere where, even though it’s obvious where the story will end up in 90 minutes, that time will be spent making the audience laugh as much as possible. There are endless jokes in Quiz Lady, but they vary from scene to scene so the comedy never gets old or feels too exhaustive.
One of the main draws to watch Quiz Lady is to see Awkwafina and Sandra Oh play off of each other. Luckily, both women deliver hilarious performances, which is mainly due to their natural chemistry. Awkwafina and Sandra Oh play against type, which is one of the main reasons why this film is so entertaining. Sandra Oh shows off her physical comedic skills in a way audiences have never seen before, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. We also get to see Awkwafina play a more introverted character, and she’s still just as funny as her co-lead.
Even though there are plenty of funny characters and sequences throughout Quiz Lady, nothing makes it specifically memorable. There is nothing particularly wrong with the film that would make it forgettable, but there is only a little rewatch value here. Quiz Lady isn’t trying to be this outrageous ride that will leave audiences calling it a comedy classic, but it works for what it is: a well-made, crowd pleasing film that you could recommend to anyone.
Quiz Lady will be streaming on Hulu from November 3, 2023.