Kristen Bell starrer ‘Queenpins’ is a crime-comedy that follows the story of two women who find an easy and innovative way to make money. Stephanie “Connie” Kaminski and her best friend Joanna Johnson are struggling in their own lives. Connie lives with her husband, Rick Kaminski, who seems to be growing more distant day by day and she finds herself unable to be happy. Caught at a difficult juncture in life, Connie and Joanna start an operation in which they acquire counterfeit coupons and sell them to other people making huge profits.
The story has been loosely inspired by the true story that unfolded in Phoenix, Arizona. Three women from the area were running a similar operation that was busted by the state police and the FBI in 2012. The scale of their operation was estimated to be around $40 million apart from their holdings which they had acquired over 4 years. Some characters in the film have also been taken from the real-life incident and it will be interesting to find if the character of Rick Kaminski falls in the same category.
Rick Kaminski Based is a Fictional Character
The character of Rick Kaminski in ‘Queenpins,’ played by Joel McHale, is not inspired by a real person. The film takes creative liberties in its portrayal of characters and events, blending fact and fiction to craft an entertaining narrative. While talking about the film, writer-directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly said, “The framework, the scam is really true to what happened, how they got these counterfeit coupons…The characters themselves are complete creations. That was something where we just really wanted to say something with these characters and wanted them to be lovable with people rooting for them, and it felt like the easiest thing to do was to take that framework but then create our own story and our own characters within that framework of the scam.”
In the film, Rick Kaminski is the husband of Connie Kaminski, the woman who orchestrates the entire operation of selling counterfeit coupons. The film begins with establishing Rick as an IRS officer. He and Connie have tried having a child for many years and tried three rounds of IVF treatments but with no success. Not just the emotional but the financial burden of dealing with the loss is something that pushes her to develop an obsession with collecting coupons and using them in the best way possible. Irritated by her behavior, Rick tells Connie that he was ready to give up after the first round of treatments and it was her insistence that has led them to such days.
Throughout the film, the relationship between Rick and Connie keeps deteriorating as she withdraws from him. She finds a purpose in her life somewhere and is happy about excelling at it. The character of Rick serves as an instrument through which sympathy for Connie’s character is heightened. He becomes the face of discomfort that Connie suffers from and ends up running away from.
The character of Connie loosely draws inspiration from real-life figure Robin Ramirez, the mastermind behind a four-year-long counterfeit coupon operation that came to an end in 2012. In reality, there is no indication of a husband being associated with Ramirez’s illicit activities. This divergence from actual events underscores the film’s creative approach, where characters like Rick are entirely fictionalized. The director’s vision seems to prioritize a comedic narrative that centers around two women navigating self-discovery and happiness within the context of a criminal enterprise.