quiz lady

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“Quiz Lady” General Information

Director Jessica Yu
Screenplay By Jen D’Angelo
Based On N/A
Date Released (Hulu) November 3, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy
Film Length 1 Hour, 39  Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Anne Yum Awkwafina
Jenny Yum Sandra Oh
Terry McTeer Will Ferrell
Francine Holland Taylor

Content Rating Explanation

“Quiz Lady” is rated R due to profanity and a scene of drug use. 

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

“Quiz Lady” has an inspiring cast of creative voices sleepwalking their way through a predictable movie. This Hulu comedy showcases Awkwafina and Sandra Oh as the odd couple sisters: one is shy and straight-faced, the other is a wild card. The humor relies heavily on people identifying with the sisters, but the story has been so overdone and the hijinks are so tame and tired that “Quiz Lady” seems to be specifically made to watch in the background. 

“Quiz Lady” follows two sisters, Anne and Jenny Yum (Awkwafina and Sanda Oh), who had to essentially raise themselves after their mom was rarely around. Anne is a tightly-wound hermit who only takes joy in taking care of her dog and watching her favorite quiz game show. Jenny is a free spirit who chases any and every dream but often finds herself struggling financially. 

After Jenny sees how knowledgeable Anne is at game show trivia, Jenny secretly records Anne answering questions about the game. The video instantly goes viral, and Anne panics in the spotlight. To make matters worse, a man steals Anne’s dog and threatens the dog’s life if Anne and Jenny don’t find a way to pay off their mom’s $80,000 gambling debt. Jenny convinces Anne that the only way to make $80,000 is to be a contestant on her favorite game show and win big. The two set off on a mission to get on that game show. 

“Quiz Lady” should be funny. The premise is simple, the cast is stacked, and the crew has a background in comedy. But predictable set pieces, sluggish timing, tight framing, and quick cuts don’t give the performers the chance to build a natural energy and riff off each other. While “Quiz Lady” makes for a serviceable tale about sisters reuniting, the comedy feels like a tossed-in afterthought. 

quiz lady 1
Awkwafina and Sandra Oh star in “Quiz Lady” (Netflix, 2023)

“Quiz Lady” Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Anne Yum

Anne is the tightly wound, shy, and reserved younger sister. Her only comfort was watching a quiz game show every night for the past twenty years and sitting with her dog as she rapidly answered the show. Anne is more responsible than her older sister, but Anne’s shyness has led her to a hermit crab lifestyle.

Jenny Yum

Jenny is the open, free-spirited, and shameless older sister. Jenny has plenty of dreams she wishes to pursue, but has little money to do so. But Jenny doesn’t let fear or worries stop her from chasing what she wants, and that’s especially true when it comes to helping others. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Umma,” their role in “Killing Eve,” and their role in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Terry McTeer

Terry McTeer is the long-running host of the quiz show. He’s polite, dedicated, and gentle-mannered. Anne looks up to Terry, and while she’s never met him, Terry and his show have been a constant anchor in her life.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Anchorman,” their role in “Elf,” and their role in “Strays.”

Francine

quiz lady 3
Holland Taylor as Francine in “Quiz Lady” (Netflix, 2023)

Francine is Anne’s older neighbor, who is kind but starts to lose her temper as Anne and Jenny’s troubles start to interfere with her life. Francine is candid about her own wants and confusion but still supportive of Anne and Jenny’s needs.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “The Practice,” their role in “Two and a Half Men,” and their role in “Hollywood.”

“Quiz Lady” Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive) 

 

Highlights

“Quiz Lady” Perfectly Answers the Ending

Much of “Quiz Lady” can feel disconnected, and at 98 minutes, it still feels long with flashbacks, quick montages, and the characters traveling back and forth. Despite all of these moments, the end of “Quiz Lady” ties a bunch of disjointed parts together to deliver a happy ending that feels earned. From callbacks to emotional catharsis, the ending of “Quiz Lady” delivers sweet closure. 

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Will Ferrell in “Quiz Lady” (Hulu, 2023)

Low Points

Camera Choices Flatten Comedy

Comedy movies need to have confidence in their performers and their set pieces. Both of these need proper showcases through wide shots and long takes. It essentially has to feel like theater. But “Quiz Lady” has close-ups and quick cuts that don’t give the audience enough time to laugh or process what they’re seeing. While this works in absurdist humor, the pacing is still sluggish, and the jokes in “Quiz Lady” are few and far in between.

On The Fence

Predictable Characters and Story

The odd-couple pairing is a common trope in comedies. One character is wild; the other is stiff and disapproves. This premise is ripe for comedy, but it can also feel predictable and grating if the viewer expects one character to misbehave and the other to disapprove. The rhythms in “Quiz Lady” (Jenny does something outrageous, Anne is shocked) do not escalate and feel stuck in place.

Who Is This For?

Fans of sibling stories, odd-couple comedies, and fans of Awkwafina and Sandra Oh might enjoy “Quiz Lady.” 

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Joyride
  2. The Farewell
  3. Crazy Rich Asians

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

quiz lady
Quiz Lady (2023) – Movie Review
Overall
“Quiz Lady” should be funny. The premise is simple, the cast is stacked, and the crew has a background in comedy. But predictable set pieces, sluggish timing, tight framing, and quick cuts don’t give the performers the chance to build a natural energy and riff off each other.
Highlights
“Quiz Lady” Perfectly Answers the Ending
Disputable
Camera Choices Flatten Comedy
Predictable Characters and Story
70

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