What happens when a bored and broken housewife and her vlogger neighbor team up to hustle coupons from a coupon manufacturer? Chaos! Read on for a full review of the movie “Queenpins” starring Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
I screened Queenpins before the release in exchange for an honest review.
Connie is a former Olympic speed walker who realizes that she needs something else in her life. She’s in a loveless marriage, has no children and failed IVF treatments have left her in massive debt. Her neighbor Jojo (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is a vlogger who is struggling to make ends meet and fix her credit after a bad case of stolen identity. Connie concocts a plan to sell coupons after she complains about stale cereal and gets a free coupon for another box. She realizes that people will pay good money for FREE or BOGO coupons and Connie recruits two workers at a coupon factory in Mexico to get her the extras so she can sell them online.
Connie and Jojo two grow their business over several months reaping in $5 Million dollars. In order to clean their money the team up with Tempe Tina, the same con who stole Jojo’s identity (Bebe Rexha) to set up shell companies. Ken, a local loss prevention manager (Paul Walter Hauser) notices the fake coupons and teams up with a postal inspector (Vince Vaughn) to track down who is flooding the supermarkets with illegitimate coupons.
Let’s start with the good. Kristen Bell understands the assignment and plays a perky Karen-esq character that often times looks manic when she smiles. The banter between her and Kirby Howell-Baptiste is great, they have chemistry and Jojo is levelheaded when Connie tries to make ridiculous plans. Paul Walter Houser is creepy but compelling as someone who just wants people the respect the coupon system. His scenes with Vince Vaughn are really solid but get old especially at the end of the movie.
“Queenpins” is an uneven film because it’s not sure if it wants to be a comedy or drama. Again, I liked the banter between the characters but It’s a bit jarring that all of the Brown characters in this film take the most chances while the Blond perky woman reaps most of the rewards. For example it’s Connie’s idea but physically it’s Jojo who ends up selling a huge cache of guns to an all White militia and that’s just in bad taste. There’s also a weird pregnancy storyline that makes absolutely no sense considering Connie can’t even launder money correctly. We are supposed to believe she was able to order sperm like ordering a pizza and stock a hanger with an airplane and luxury cars?
I’m not sure what “Queenpins” is trying to say about capitalism and the hustle culture but if you choose to watch it, revel in the fun chemistry between the two sets of characters!
Queenpins released on Setpember 10 and tickets can be bought here.