Review: Amy Poehler’s Moxie Makes Memorable Feminists, Revolutionaries In Her Teenage Cast

Moving away from the drunken stupidity that she snatched from her last staging effort, Wine country, Amy Poehler is now entering the more serious field of high school with Moxie, a work on the realization of a young 16-year-old girl that if she does not take a stand against certain aspects of the status quo among her comrades (sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.), she will never oppose the same problems that she goes through in adulthood. Based on the novel by Jennifer Mathieu (and adapted by Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer), Moxie works as a checklist of all that is wrong, but generally accepted, with the pecking order and bad behavior of high school, and how a small group of young women can muster up and move a small revolution forward.


Image courtesy of Netflix

Naturally, Poehler and his team don’t just focus on the message. There’s also some really sweet romance, a little bit of drama as a long-standing friendship changes a bit, and even a few laughs as the adults who roam the orbit of these hormonal machines are caught in chaos. Vivian (Hadley Robinson) is a self-described introvert who spends most of her time in school with her head down and hanging out with her introverted colleague / best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai). Vivian is raised by her single mother (Poehler) with her own rebellious past of listening to Bikini Kills and protesting anything that doesn’t suit her as a feminist. Inspired by a combination of the mistreatment of new student Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) by football team captain Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger) and the publication of an annual list that ranks school girls in according to their body, Vivian gets angry enough to create a zine called Moxie. She secretly distributes the publication throughout the school, detailing all of the long-accepted wrongs in the school that Principal Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden) turns a blind eye to in order to avoid the red tape needed to deal with a real bullying. complaint. The only teacher we see on a regular basis, Mr Davies (Ike Barinholtz), is a little more plugged into what these kids are going through and who the instigators are, but getting too involved could cost him his job, so Vivian quickly surrenders reckons that it is going to have to demand changes that the administration cannot or does not want to make on its own.

Although Vivian chooses to remain anonymous, she, Lucy and a few other foreign ladies form a school club around the zine, something that seems to strain Vivian’s relationship with Claudia, who wants to help but doesn’t want to pull the neck and getting into trouble, enduring the wrath of his strict mother. The girls stage a dress code protest when a girl wearing a somewhat revealing tank top is kicked out of school with no one blinking when a soccer player wears one in the same classroom. The protest seems to be working and it prompts the girls to try something more substantial involving the regular bullying they endure from sportsmen in school – a cliché, perhaps, but the young Schwarzenegger does a remarkable job. playing one of the big assholes in high school in a recent movie. the story.

What is more exciting Moxie observe the process and early states of empowerment and how it changes the lives of these girls forever. Is it too simplified and speeded up? Sure. Does that make it less exciting to see? I do not think so. In many ways, this experience helps Vivian mature enough to try something she’s never done before: a date. Seth (Nico Hiraga) is a guy who is very by his side and supports the Moxie full movement, and he even makes a good impression on his mother. The relationship isn’t just there to slow down some of the film’s more serious subjects; it’s meant to show how Vivian and Seth are equal partners in their pairing, making smart decisions and supporting each other, even when being part of the movement can get them in trouble.

Moxie isn’t a perfect coming-of-age movie, but I think it takes risks where other teen-centric stories don’t. The adults in the movie are, for the most part, underwritten one-dimensional idiots (if anyone can explain to me why Clark Gregg is even in this movie – as Poehler’s new boyfriend – I would be eternally grateful; he’s barely records). And I wish at least one of the faculty members had been a little more knowledgeable and aware of what was going on right in front of them. There’s also a clunky rape mention – I’m hesitant to call it a subplot because of how it’s stuck in the story at the 11th hour – that feels like it’s stacking up. I have no problem believing that rape occurs among high school students, but it’s not a topic you casually broach right before the credit count. There’s a whole other movie to make about that; someone is bold enough to do it.

Always, Moxie has a lot to offer, and part of me is always going to wonder where Vivian’s life is going from that point on. She’s a junior in the movie, so is there any chance we could attend her senior year? I would love to see him because I have learned to care about Vivian and her rainbow group of friends, comrades, sisters and revolutionaries. There are still changes to make and grow for them.

The film is now streaming on Netflix.

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Categories: Film, Critic, Screens

Tagged As: Alycia Pascual-Peña, Amy Poehler, Clark Gregg, Dylan Meyer, Hadley Robinson, Ike Barinholtz, Jennifer Mathieu, Lauren Tsai, Marcia Gay Harden, Nico Hiraga, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Tamara Chestna

Thelma J. Longworth

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