starring Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Jason Schwartzman, Will Ferrell
written by Jen D'Angelo
directed by Jessica Yu
by Walter Chaw I don't hold any particular rancour for Jessica Yu's confused, miscast Quiz Lady. No bile, even when it seems to be trafficking in racist tropes rather than satirizing them, even when its feeble attempts at wit and timing fall shrilly by the wayside. It's always a minefield for me to review a film by an Asian American this negatively, especially an Asian American woman working from a script by a (white) woman, but there's a point at which our community should be allowed to make disasterpieces and still get another shot, if equality is the real goal. There's a point, too, where pulling punches or pretending not to have seen something becomes patronizing and an act of making a work invisible, which is what we're often complaining about in the first place. I'll allow that Quiz Lady likely has an audience and that this film exists at exactly the wrong frequency for me to tolerate, much less appreciate; I do worry, however, that the range in which it vibrates is the one in which people who like to laugh at my people live.