Kristen Bell

Queenpins: Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s new ‘true crime comedy’ is based on a real-life scam

Posted by for Film

The Good Place’s Kristen Bell and Cruella’s Kirby Howell-Baptiste play best friends-turned-coupon scammers in this new comedy based on a true story.

Pop culture has long been obsessed with con-artists. From the slew of content about the Anna Delvey ‘fake heiress’ scandal to the true crime podcasts which explore some of the world’s most notorious scams, there’s something about these tales of trickery and deceit that make them prime material for podcasts, TV series and films.

And that’s what makes Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s new ‘true crime comedy’ Queenpins so intriguing. Based on a true story, the film follows two best friends – Connie (Bell), a suburban housewife, and JoJo (Howell-Baptiste), a vlogger with big dreams.

Struggling to make ends meet, the pair hatch a plan – to take advantage of the fact that one factory is responsible for distributing the free coupons customers receive when they file a complaint to a company, and sell them on to women in their position as part of an illegal coupon club scheme.  

However, things don’t go completely as planned, and before long, the pair find themselves under investigation by the authorities, as the official synopsis explains: “On the trail to total coupon dominance, a hapless Loss Prevention Officer (Paul Walter Hauser) from the local supermarket chain joins forces with a determined US Postal Inspector (Vince Vaughn) in hot pursuit of these newly-minted ‘Queenpins’ of pink-collar crime.”

With the men on their tail, the women turn to a professional (played by none other than Bebe Rexha) for help. But will they get away with it?

In a new trailer for the film released earlier this month (8 July), the pair can be seen reasoning with each other before deciding to set off on their venture.  

“The system has set us up to fail,” Connie can be heard saying. “You know who gets rewarded? People who don’t follow the rules. It’s time we start bending them a little.”

And later on, JoJo adds: “It’s like Robin Hood. We gotta steal these coupons and sell them to families who really need them. That’s money in the bank.”

The trailer also reveals the kind of tongue-in-cheek humour you can expect from the film – in the opening scene, a group of armed policemen can be heard asking whether they’re “coming in a little hard” after they’re told they’re dealing with “two women counterfeiting coupons” as opposed to “gun runners” or “drug dealers”.  

It may not be the kind of hard-hitting true crime fans of the genre are used to, but Queenpins definitely sounds like one to watch.

While it’s been confirmed that the film will hit US cinemas on 10 September, a UK release date has yet to be announced – although we’re sure it won’t be too long until we hear something. We’ll update this space when we hear more. 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.