Playing sisters with differing approaches to life in Quiz Lady, Awkwafina and Sandra Oh answer the question about what matters most—the process versus the response. The women play contrasting sisters, a colorful free-spirited paired with an introvert whose major skill lies in quiz show trivia. Financial desperation puts the two on the road to a Jeopardy-style game and though better known for her comic antics, Awkwafina sits in the back seat as Oh drives towards the movie’s major laughs. Oh, good at drama in Gray’s Anatomy plus a comic whiz in Sideways, times her lines with skill, her giggles contagious enough to pass along laughter to anyone watching. Meanwhile, Awkwafina puts aside her own vivid style and sticks to her character’s timid wariness, her hunched shoulders covered in the gray that surrounds her life. Working with a warm-hea
rted script from Jen D’Angelo, director Jessica Yu focuses on the chemistry between her leading ladies while showing a good eye for kitschy settings and situations and briefly shooting into fanciful animation. Action may stretch credibility, but no one seems to mind as they move into outlandish circumstances that include dognapping, Ben Franklin, and a totally weird approach to charades. Good support comes from one of the film’s producers, Will Ferrel as a game-show host who drops an artificial mask to provide the story’s real heart. Granted, his insights seem pretty basic. Ultimately Quiz Lady offers pat answers, phrased in a pleasantly diverting manner.