Moxie Movie Review(2021): A Shallow Yet Sweet Feminist Revolt

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Video Source – Netflix (Netflix YouTube Channel)

Moxie is a movie directed by Amy Poehler about a teenager who takes it upon herself to fight for the women in her school. So she constructs a rebel group by the name of moxie. Although shallow at times, Moxie exposes a lot of different sides in a setting which might come across as overdone.

Moxie Movie Cast

  • Hadley Robinson as Vivian Carter
  • Alycia Pascual as Lucy
  • Nico Hiraga as Seth
  • Lauren Tsai as Claudia
  • Amy Poehler as Lisa

Moxie Movie Plot

Moxie revolves around a girl named Vivian who forms a pro feminism group called Moxie. Its sole purpose is to let the women feel heard and fight back against the casual sexism which has become so common in her school. This is the fight of the entire female population of the school and deeply personal for each and every one of them. Especially for Vivian who struggles between choosing silence over limelight. 

Moxie Movie Review

The one cause. That’s where an uprising begins. Moxie is a movie about an introverted teenager, Vivian, who takes it upon herself to fight against the ideologies of a certain population in her high school. Her goal seemingly transcends from writing an essay to becoming a full on feminist bruiser, even though she still struggles with the societal pressures buried deep inside her. 

The movie starts off with Vivian, played by Hadley Robinson, dreaming that she is running through a forest, so terrified and torn that her screams are nothing but muted expressions. That’s what her personality is. What she passes off as being an introvert, in reality, is actually about being expressionless when she so desperately wants to be heard. Her mom Lisa, played by Amy Poehler, is a cheerful, often outspoken woman who has had her share of rebellions in her past. Vivian notices a chain of unfathomable actions in her school disguised as fun play, and after some inspiration from her mom, she snaps and prints the first pamphlet of Moxie. 

In a still from Moxie Movie

Moxie Movie: The Likeable relationships and intentions of Moxie

There’s a lot to like in this movie. The classic high school movie feeling still persists and Amy Poehler presents it in the most common, borderline cliche way possible.

Alycia Pascual, who plays the role of Lucy, takes the cake in terms of performance. Both her and Hadley play almost opposite characters, but their motivations and personalities collide to form a very realized and authentic friendship.

The relationships, whether it’s being best friends with someone or falling for someone who for once gives the equal amount of respect for women, are all done very organically. In fact, the occasional cute gimmicks of Vivian and Seth (played by Nico Hiraga) were some of the best moments of this movie for me. 

Moxie Movie: Amy Poehler’s second directorial venture

Amy Poehler presents a set of ideals that are important for women to thrive in the society. Having already directed a movie before, Moxie plays off as a really nice addition under her name. The script lacked balance between characters but she never made Moxie feel like it was over dramatizing the issue to generate interest. Embracing a college movie like a college movie is her biggest achievement, and she sure has a good record ahead of herself.

There’s a deep emphasis on the cross of cultures. Moxie is the embodiment of a retro feminism group, which is still undeniably relevant in the modern scenario. The group learns this for the better or the worse. Vivian’s struggle with going all in or being a steady bystander forces her to break quite a lot in this movie. None of it being too dramatic or over the top, but it’s still enough to make you feel for her. And while I wasn’t necessarily fond of a lot of different character arcs in this movie, the protagonist was surely done right. 

Moxie Movie: Bland Characters and Shallow Premise steal the depth out of Moxie

There’s a huge difference between knowing the inspiration, and knowing what led to the birth of the inspiration. In Moxie’s case, character’s feel underdeveloped to overpower the message and the essence of the story.

Vivian’s mom Lisa, even with an insane amount of potential, feels two dimensional and bland. Specifically because throughout the course of the movie, we hardly know anything about her. What caused her uprising and what were the things that she deeply cared about in her past, are aspects which are not explored in this movie, but I so wish they were.

Same goes for the principal and even her best friend Claudia to an extent. Going more in depth into the lives of these certain characters would have given a much needed dramatic and emotional context to this movie.

Moxie unabashedly showcases the issues, the culprits and those who turn a blind eye. At its heart, it’s a classic teenage rebellion movie, and like a lot of those, it feels shallow sometimes. It is filled with underdone dialogues but just perfectly realized relationships.

More than anything, the flaws are undermined through a powerful message and performances for which I will gladly dive into this movie again. It will most probably be a fun and uplifting watch for  every feminist and Amy Poehler fan out there.

Moxie Movie Critical Reception

Moxie stands at 66% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus saying “Moxie comes up a little short on its titular ingredient when it comes to fully addressing its story’s timely themes, but this sweet coming-of-age story is still easy to like.”

Its Metascore is 55 with Mixed or Average reviews based on 23 critic reviews. 

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Moxie fleshes out a true and true feminist plot. Its characters feel under developed and in the turn the premise often feels shallow and constrained by cliches. Yet its sweet nature and message will resonate across the entirety of women who are going to give this movie a shot. 

Moxie is available on Netflix to watch.