Recently making its debut on Netflix UK, Queenpins, starring Kristen Bell, has swiftly ascended to the fourth spot on the streaming platform’s top ten films list.
Directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, the film stars the comic virtuoso Kristen Bell alongside her The Good Place co-star Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Vince Vaughn, and Paul Walter Hauser.
This uproarious comedy-drama follows two women who devise an elaborate coupon scam, thrusting themselves into a whirlwind of deception, chaos, and unexpected consequences.
Despite having less than stellar reviews, audiences have been lapping up the entertainer on the streaming platform. Several scenes from the film have gone viral since its release in 2021. But did you know that Queenpins is based on a true story? Read on to find out more.
Is Kristen Bell’s Queenpins inspired by a true story?
Yes, the screenplay of Queenpin draws inspiration from a true story. While the film takes creative liberties for comedic effect, the core premise is rooted in an actual coupon scam that unfolded in the United States.
The true story that inspired Queenpins revolves around a massive coupon counterfeiting operation orchestrated by a trio of women from Phoenix, Arizona, in the mid-2010s. The perpetrators, who dubbed themselves the Coupon Cartel, devised a scheme to exploit the loopholes in the couponing system, ultimately defrauding major corporations.
The characters portrayed by Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste in the film commit coupon theft from a factory with the help of an exploited Mexican worker, who was being paid a meagre $2 per hour. In reality, the Coupon Cartel, namely Robin Ramirez, Amiko Fountain, and Marilyn Johnson, orchestrated a scheme involving the mass production of counterfeit coupons abroad, which they peddled on their website at significantly reduced prices.
This reportedly cost businesses millions of dollars before authorities caught wind of any of it. As per ABC News, this led law enforcement to discover $25million worth of fake coupons in Ramirez’s residence. The police confiscated more than $2million worth of assets, such as 22 assault weapons, 21 vehicles, and a 40-foot boat. They were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, and mail fraud.
Contrary to the movie, where the women get an 11-month sentence, Ramirez received a sentence of 24 months in prison and seven years of probation. Fountain and Johnson faced charges of counterfeiting and pleaded guilty to one count. Additionally, the trio was ordered to pay Proctor and Gamble more than a million dollars for restitution.
You can watch the comic caper Queenpins on Netflix and catch the trailer here: