Unfocused and often unbelievable, Amy Poehler’s “Moxie” feels like a battle between two competing visions: the go-girl crowd-pleaser and the serious high-school harassment drama. Neither wins.
The story, based on Jennifer Matthews’ young-adult novel of the same name, features 16-year-old Vivian (Hedley Robinson), a quiet girl who turns into a rebel when a new student (Alicia Pascal-Pena) learns about her school’s sexist culture. Challenges Vivian’s nascent feminism goes into overdrive, inspired by Jab’s collection Riots-grail mementos of the 1990s Belonging to her single mother (Poehler), she creates an anonymous zine, named Moxie, and mimics it in the girls’ bathrooms. Just like that, a revolution is born.
Despite the appeal the young artist – Nico Hirga, as Vivian’s beloved honorable interest, is a standout – “Moxie” needs less stereotype and infinitely more nuance. Characters are sparsely written and the screenplay (by Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer) is overstuffed. Transgender and immigrant issues, as well as gender inequality in sport, are all superficially examined in a plot that homemade pamphlets from the last century suggest that #MeToo’s consciousness-raising compared to the wall-to-wall culture Is more likely to
Troubled by oversimplification and the disturbing nervousness – the disastrous revelation of a young woman is a mere step to the film’s ra-ra finale – “Moxie” is a cliffness guide to fighting patriarchy. In its hyper-condensed view, all you need is a tank top, A bikini kill song And a big way and voice! The conflict is over.
Rated PG-13 for vulgar language and sexual behavior. Running Time: 1 hour 51 minutes. Watch on netflix.