In the early 1990s there were Riot Grrrls – Riot grrrl is a subcultural movement that combines feminism, punk music, and politics. I actually knew a lot of girls who proudly called themselves that. They were mostly punk-rock girls or skin-chicks (girl skinheads) who spoke out about feminist topics such as domestic abuse, rape, patriarchy, female empowerment amongst other women issues.
In Moxie, Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a seemingly shy 16-year-old, starts the first day of school exposed to sexist, abusive behaviors from what seems like just the football team, if we went by what the movie focuses on. There is also a teacher who chooses to coddle the football star and ignore his toxic behavior and a female principal who chooses to also coddle him, as well as issue double standard rules, like sending a female student home for wearing a tank top but allowing the male football player to go shirtless.
Vivian becomes friends with the new girl, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) who shines a light on all the toxic behavior of her fellow students, and staff, especially the football star Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger) who is a total douche. Vivian, feeling like she must do something, finds a box of her Mom’s (Amy Poehler) old things and learns that her mother was what we would have called a Riot Grrl back in the day…she protested, and she and her friends created a zine to help their causes. This gives Vivian the idea to start her own zine called MOXIE that calls out all of the toxicity throughout the school but she keeps the fact that she writes it secret.
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I enjoyed the film, there is language and an (almost) sexual situation but other than that, it was pretty tame. This movie really made me glad that I went to school in the ’80s and not in this day and age. Imagine if we had social media back then? Ugh. that would have been horrific for a lot of us. Unfortunately, high school is always going to be the best of times for some, and the worst for others, it’s just how it goes when you have so many different types of kids all in one place. MOXIE does a great job shining a light on what goes on now and how you can take a stand when you think your voice doesn’t matter.
“If you are doing nothing, then you are part of the problem”
STREAM MOXIE ON NETFLIX BEGINNING MARCH 3RD.
Directed by Amy Poehler and based on the novel by Jennifer Mathieu, MOXIE also stars Lauren Tsai, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford, Clark Gregg, Josie Totah, Anjelika Washington, Charlie Hall, and Sabrina Haskett, and Ike Barinholtz.