Based on Jennifer Mathieu’s eponymous novel, the movie on Netflix does not go for broke, but has its heart in the right place
Vivian (Hadley Robinson) and her best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai) are back at Rockport High in Oregon for the new term. Everything seems to be the same — the obnoxious rankings, where all the girls in school are graded according to their physical attributes, are out and the incredibly popular captain of the football team Mitchell Wilson (Patrick Schwarzenegger) is being his casually-annoying self. Everything is same that is until new girl Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) asks Vivian, “You know that annoying can be more than just annoying right?”
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Vivian’s mother, Lisa (Amy Poehler) is a feminist and tells her, “When I was 16, all I cared about was smashing the patriarchy.” While admitting to making mistakes and not being “intersectional enough” Lisa assures Vivian that she did not regret any of it. When Vivian finds her mother’s Riot grrrl zine, she decides to fight the endemic sexism and bullying in her school with a zine of her own, Moxie. And a movement is born. Anger (“I hate that we are shoved aside”) is channelled to challenge the status quo to the rousing background score of ‘Rebel Girl’ by punk rock band Bikini Girl.
- Director: Amy Poehler
- Cast: Hadley Robinson, Josephine Langford, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz, Marcia Gay Harden, Nico Hiraga, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Sydney Park, Sabrina Haskett
- Story line: A sweet coming-of-age story of a teenager who finds herself with a little help from peers and her rad mother
- Run time: 111 minutes
So Kiera (Sydney Park), the captain of the girls’ soccer team runs against Mitchell for a sports scholarship and all the girls turn up in tank tops to support Kaitlynn (Sabrina Haskett), who is told by Principal Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden) not to wear them. Moxie also encourages Emma (Josephine Langford) to reveal a dark secret. Social media is put to good use to spread the revolution.
The sympathetic men include the English teacher (always has to be the English teacher, why not maths or geology?) Mr Davies (Ike Barinholtz) and Seth (Nico Hiraga), who wet his pants when he was a little boy, but has grown into a hunk, much to Vivian’s delight.
Rockport High is very different school from Riverdale, Rydell or any of the schools teenagers seem to frequent in Hollywood. Though Moxie based on Jennifer Mathieu’s eponymous novel, does not go for broke, it has its heart in the right place.
Moxie is currently streaming on Netflix