I had seen advertisements about this 2021 comedy/drama but didn’t have a chance to watch this little gem until Thanksgiving Eve. When is murder fun? When you have a great script and fabulous actors. Breaking News in Yuba County fills that requirement.
Directed and co-produced by Tate Taylor, Breaking News in Yuba County stars Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Wanda Sykes, Juliette Lewis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Jimmi Simpson, and Clifton Collins Jr. The story revolves around Sue Buttons (Allison Janney). Sue is a very timid woman that is not only ignored by her husband, but by everyone she meets. Sue does try to overcome this shyness with assertive quotes about being worthy and powerful. I do believe that what you put out into the universe does come back to you, and Sue puts her assertiveness training into high gear after her husband (Mathew Modine) forgets her birthday.
What Sue doesn’t realize is that her husband who is a bank executive, and his brother Petey (Jimmi Simpson) have been laundering money for Mr. Kim (Keong Sim), an Asian gangster. When Sue heads over to the bank to confront her husband about the forgotten birthday, she sees him leaving the bank with a bouquet of flowers. She mistakenly thinks he is planning a surprise for her. Her world is crushed after she follows him and discovers that he is cheating on her. When the shock of Sue discovering him in the act of infidelity causes Karl to have a deadly heart attack, Sue’s course of action leads the plot from comedic to a dark place with many innocent people paying the price
Sue chases Karl’s mistress out of the motel room, then decides to bury Karl in the playground area behind the motel. She decides to go to the police with the story that her husband is missing. Detective Cam Harris (Regina Hall) is suspicious of Sue’s story, especially after Sue’s sister Nancy (Mila Kunis) has her sister do an interview with her for her news station.
Things really get hairy when Mr. Kim sends his hitmen Mina (Awkwafina) and Ray (Clifton Collins Jr.) after Petey for the missing millions.
This is a well written script with top notch actors, but even though Sue did the wrong thing, I found myself cheering for her. This is a woman who is ignored by everyone from her husband, her sister, and her co-workers at the Suicide Hotline. The attention she so craved finally comes in via a Tsunami flood of curiosity seekers.
When Sue hints that her husband may have been kidnapped because he knew who kidnapped a young girl who has been missing for several weeks, Detective Harris is certain that Sue is lying, but all sympathies lie with Sue and even Detective Harris’s boss and her partner tell Harris that she is barking up the wrong tree.
I have been telling all my friends and family to watch Breaking News in Yuba County. I loved Wanda Sykes’ and Awkwafina’s characters. The ending will surprise you.
You can stream Breaking News in Yuba County on Netflix.