Quiz Lady is an all-out entertainer, starring Awkwafina and Sandra Oh as sisters Anne and Jenny. Growing up in a dysfunctional family, Anne’s only respite was a quiz show named “Can’t Stop the Quiz.” Even though everything around her changed, her love for the quiz show remained intact. She felt a deep connection with the host of the show, Terry McTeer, after all the years of watching him conduct the show. Anne preferred being invisible at work; she barely had any friends, and her only companion was Mr. Linguini, a pug left behind by her elder sister when she left home to become an actor. Anne enjoyed the mundaneness of her life, but everything changed when she received a call from the old age home where her mother was a resident.
How did Jenny’s return impact Anne’s life?
Anne met Jenny at Sunnyvale, and as it turned out, both sisters had received a phone call from the old age home. While Anne was an introvert, hiding away from social gatherings, Jenny had a loud personality. Jenny walked into Sunnyvale, assuming that her mother had passed away, only to realize that she had run away with her boyfriend to Macao. Their mother was quite the gambler, and it was not completely shocking that she left without informing them. The two sisters met after a long time, but Anne was not happy about the reunion. Deep down, she could not forgive Jenny for leaving her behind. She was all the more shocked when Jenny announced that she planned on staying with her for a while. Going by the condition of Jenny’s car, Anne realized that her sister had been sleeping there, and she ultimately agreed to host Jenny for a few days.
Jenny brought her chaos into Anne’s perfectly organized apartment. Anne was not too surprised to find out that Jenny was unemployed and that she was relying on the money she would receive from a fast-food chain company after she nearly choked on a fish bone. While the story of the lawsuit was bizarre, Anne did not care as long as Jenny was not financially dependent on her. Jenny did not expect Anne to be fond of the quiz show even after all these years, and she was all the more stunned to see Anne answering the questions before the participants on the show. She suggested that Anne audition for the show, but Anne was too shy to give it a try. She simply enjoyed sitting on her couch with Mr. Linguini by her side and watching the quiz show. She was happier being invisible to the world than embarrassing herself in public. Jenna realized that Anne needed a push in life, and after years of being absent, she wanted to help her sister overcome her fear. Jenny had a great epiphany after inspiring a waiter at an eatery to take control of her life. She realized that life coaching was her true calling, and Anne would be her first project. That evening, she secretly recorded a video of Anne answering all the questions asked on the quiz show. She uploaded the video to YouTube, and it instantly became a viral sensation. Anne was labeled the ‘Quiz Lady’, and everyone wanted to find out more about her. While Anne was miserable when she found out that she had become famous, Jenny enjoyed every second of it.
Why did Anne agree to be on the quiz show?
Anne found out that her mother owed a huge sum of money to her bookie, and he had come across her YouTube video and tracked her down to her office. Ken informed Anne that he had kidnapped Mr. Linguini, and if she failed to return the money, she would forever lose her dog. Anne was completely devastated, and Jenny called their mother to find out if it was the truth. Their mother was not bothered by the trouble she had caused her daughters and was back at a casino in Macao, trying her luck. The only way they could get that kind of money instantly was through the quiz show, and lucky for Anne, the people from the show contacted her, asking her to audition in Philadelphia. Jenny believed it was a sign from the universe, but Anne did not feel the same way. She was frustrated because of the chaos Jenny brought into her life. It was because of the video that she landed in trouble, and now the only way to earn $80,000 was by facing her worst nightmare. Even though there was no option at hand, Anne refused to take the chance. Jenny could no longer watch her sister play it safe, and she kidnapped her to forcefully make her attend the audition. While driving to Philadelphia, the two sisters got into a fight. Anne realized that there was no better option than winning the quiz show, and as much as she hated the entire idea, she knew she had to do it to save Mr. Linguini.
Even though the situation was not ideal, the trip to Philadelphia helped the two sisters bond once again. They reminisced about their childhood days, particularly the time they visited their cousins in Burbank, California. That summer holiday, Jenny realized that her dream life was in Burbank, but Anne always felt like an outsider there. It was the best summer holiday for Jenny, or at least that was how she wanted to portray it. But Anne could never forget how nervous she was all the time around her cousins. She always felt their scrutinizing eyes on her, and she spent the entire month without defecating. But at one point, she had to go, and she decided that it would be easier to defecate in a hole in the backyard than to use the washroom because she was extremely scared of embarrassing herself. Even as a little girl, she knew that her cousins did not like her or even Jenny. They all assumed that the two sisters would end up nowhere, just like their divorced father, who met with an accident and died a broke man. Jenny knew how it was, but she did not expect her sister to remember it. As much as Anne pretended to be frustrated with Jenny, the little girl in her was happy to finally have the support of her sister.
What was Jenny’s secret?
Jenny had to drug Anne to help her cope with the fear of public speaking. The impact of the combination of drugs helped Anne overcome the challenge, and she was contacted by “Can’t Stop the Quiz” and invited to the show. But unlike the audition, Anne no longer had Jenny by her side. She and Jenny got into an argument after Jenny confessed that the money from the lawsuit was real and she was getting a hefty check. She lied about not having any money because she wanted Anne to face the challenge and take part in the show. Jenny tricked Anne because, as her life coach, she believed she had no other option. But Anne was not happy about it. Mr. Linguini meant the world to her, and instead of helping with his release, Jenny tricked her to prove her point. Anne had always considered Jenny to be self-absorbed because she prioritized her own happiness and dreams over everything else. The accusations hit Jenny hard, and she finally revealed the actual reason why they were never invited back to their cousin’s place in Burbank. The hole that Anne had dug was not deep enough, and the next morning, their judgmental cousins found out that someone had defecated in the backyard. Jenny knew that it was Anne, and to protect her sister, she took the blame on herself. Jenny sacrificed her opportunity to live her dream life in California for Anne, and she never spoke about knowing that would leave Anne embarrassed.
Did Anne Win The Competition?
Anne invited her cranky neighbor, Francine, to be her partner in the show for a round of dumb charades. Meanwhile, after spending some time on her own, Jenny realized that she could not simply give up on her sister. She decided to make things right, and she knew that the only way to help Anne concentrate on the quiz show would be by releasing Mr. Linguini. She met Ken and his gang and promised to pay the amount her mother owed in exchange for the dog, but he did not agree. So, Jenny simply grabbed hold of Mr. Linguini and ran out of the room. Anne was spellbound when she entered the set of the quiz show, and she was all the more thrilled to meet Terry McTeer. Her Freudian slip suggested how much of an influence Terry had on her life. As the shooting began, Anne was completely flustered. She missed her companion and was shocked to see Jenny enter the set with Mr. Linguini. She was ready to leave the show now that she had Mr. Linguini with her, but Jenny insisted she not give up.
Anne was up against the current champion of the show, Ron. The boastful champion was in disbelief when Anne answered every question in the second round correctly. The dumb charades round were crucial, and Anne realized that she wanted to play the round with her sister by her side and not Francine. Terry advised Anne to enjoy the experience of being on the show instead of obsessing over winning it. Anne realized that Jenny was the only person she wanted to share the experience with. The two sisters were in complete sync, and all their secret stories and jokes helped them win the round. Ron accused Anne of cheating, but no one cared about him anymore. There was a new quiz champion in town, and it was Anne Yum.
During Quiz Lady‘s ending, Jenny finally apologizes to Anne for leaving her alone to take care of their mother and for failing to be the perfect elder sister. Anne missed having Jenny around, and the two reconciled and agreed that even though they might have been losers before, they had won in life today. At the end of the film, we also find out that Anne won 93 quiz games, and she received the title of the longest-running champion of the show. Ron realized he needed therapy; Mr. Linguini became an internet sensation; Francine eventually passed away, but at least she died thinking she met her celebrity crush, Alan Cumming. Jenny paid back the money her mother owed to Ken, and with the rest of the lawsuit money, she bought a mansion in Malibu. Anne started working as a writer for the quiz show, and this time, she enjoyed her job.