Here's my MOXIE TED TALK:
I was once a middle school and high school girl with large breasts. I mean, let's be honest. They are still large. I've been on those stupid inappropriate lists. I don't recall them being quite so crass back in my high school days, but they say repression is a wonderful thing. The comments high schoolers—mainly high school boys—make about girls' breasts are obnoxious at best, toxic at worst. Because it's not like someone makes a comment once and you never hear it again.
You basically have to listen to that garbage coming from multiple directions for 4 years of high school and some of middle school, depending on when you blossomed. And that is just about the breasts. Add in alllllll of the other stuff we had to deal with. And then sexism for other reasons, administrations and teachers that didn't care or poo-pooed it because boys are just teasing or worse, you're told because they like you.
And yearbooks. Best smile, best backside…what are those categories? The polite version of some of the “list” titles?
Yeah, that's all fun and games until you have a stalker show up at your house, your high school prom, or you something more horrific or traumatic.
So yeah, movies like MOXIE with conversations such as this that encourage your teens to engage and elicit discussion and actions are important, even if the movie themselves aren't perfect cinematic masterpieces.
fem·i·nism/ˈfeməˌnizəm/nounthe advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes
What Works – Moxie Review
The archetypal tropes used to depict Rockport High's finest are cliché, but just on the side of working:
- Cynical teacher toeing the line as to now make waves
- Completely out-of-touch administrator so white she wouldn't recognize that it wasn't 1960 if it smacked her in the face
- Sweetheart jock everybody loves, despite the fact that he's a sexist, misogynist pig
- Sweetheart jock's best friend/sidekick whose head is basically up the jock's butt
- New kid who is more worldly and outspoken and wants to make a difference and at a minimum, will stand up for herself against meathead jocks
- Best friends who come from entirely different backgrounds and have parents who are as different as night and day
- Goofy best male friend who adores his female BFF and they fall in love (and we STAN him)
Speaking of the goofy best friend. Seth, played by Nico Hiraga, was a stand-out in his role. Best friend, ally, could you ask for more?
What Doesn't Work – Moxie Review
Robinson is fantastic as Vivian. While this is a screenplay adapted from a book, a bit more time with the storyline between Claudia and Vivian and the discussion around their relationship would have been nice. When they are talking in Claudia's bedroom, Claudia talks about her Asian background and that the stakes are different/higher for her than they are for Vivian. A little deeper exploration would have been a beneficial context for Moxie.
Another great addition would have been allowing Lucy's character to have a little more front and center time. She starts out as a strong motivator for the movement and then appears to take a backseat. More of Lucy could have beneficial to the story.
Also, by including more of Claudia and Lucy's stories, the film would have been less white girl riot and slightly more inclusive.
Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a seemingly shy 16-year-old, has always preferred to keep her head down and fly under the radar. But when the arrival of a new student (Alycia Pascual-Peña) forces her to examine the unchecked behavior of her fellow students running rampant at her high school, Vivian realizes she’s fed up. Inspired by her mother’s (Amy Poehler) rebellious past, Vivian anonymously publishes an underground zine called Moxie to expose bias and wrongdoing in her high school and unexpectedly sparks a movement. Now at the center of a revolution, Vivian begins to forge new friendships with other young women and allies, reaching across the divide of cliques and clubs as they learn to navigate the highs and lows of high school together. Directed by Amy Poehler and based on the novel by Jennifer Mathieu, MOXIE also stars Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford, Clark Gregg, Josie Totah, Anjelika Washington, Charlie Hall, and Sabrina Haskett, with Ike Barinholtz and Marcia Gay Harden.