Feminism is on fire and what better way to highlight all facets of it than through the amazing direction from Amy Poehler. Based on the book (of the same name) from Jennifer Mathieu, Moxie introduces us to best friends Claudia (Lauren Tsai) and (Hadley Robinson) Vivian. Vivian, a shy 16-year-old, is inspired by her Mom’s (Amy Poehler) rebellious past to call out sexism at her school by publishing an anonymous magazine. In the process, her self-published magazine causes an uproarious, uprising amongst the student body revealing secrets and creating conflict amongst friends and foes.
For me, this film picks up where Mean Girls and Booksmart left off for young women and the issues experienced while navigating high school with all the awkwardness, moodiness and unexpectedly unapologetic moments that come along with it. Watching Vivian and Claudia’s friendship unravel from a tight knit do or die to a complete and utter schism was so indicative of being a teenager, yet a reminder of how important it is to listen and learn devoid of judgement. Heavy issues revolving around rape, racism and sexism are handled NOT with kid gloves, but with grit and honesty through the words adapted by Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer.
Performances are consistently fantabulous all the way around especially from Lauren Tsai, Hadley Robinson, Patrick Schwarznegger, Amy Poehler, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Nico Hiraga, Ike Barinholtz, Marcia Gay Harden and Clark Gregg. I particularly love the tender relationship between Seth and Vivian. Seth’s ability to support Vivian knowing she is strong, opinionated and independent was refreshing to see in a teen dramedy. Patrick Schwarznegger is pitch perfect as Mitchell, the bad boy in every sense of the word that you want to hate but are fascinated with his cluelessness. Alycia Pascual-Pena is pure fire as the new feminist on the block shaking things up while leaving no prisoners behind.
Existing in a world where work from the Suffragette’s, women of the 70’s and those who coordinated the historic Women’s Marches in the 21st century, it has become more imperative than ever to ensure our voices, rights and integrity as a gender do not continue to be comprised, ignored and disrespected. A lesson that is continuing on through this cinematic mantra for women’s rights.
Moxie, currently streaming via Netflix, may have a few pacing issues here and there, but overall it’s a film that definitely deserves to be seen.