Moxie

Showing on Netflix.

Directed by Amy Poehler, based on Jennifer Matthieu’s novel, adapted by Tamara Chestna, Moxie tells the story of a group of 16 year old female students who are sick of the seemingly rampant sexist attitude that perpetuates throughout their school. Vivien (Hadley Robinson) realises things have to change when a new girl, Lucy (Alycia Pascual Pena), raises questions about some of the practices that are excepted as normal in the school, and she is inspired to act as she learns about her mother’s (Amy Poehler’s) own rebellious past. Vivien starts a ‘zine that highlights some of the schools archaic attitudes and starts to empower an ever growing group who demand change.

I won’t pretend I’m the target audience for this, or claim to know if this is a fair reflection of a modern high school, but Moxie is a smart, humorous, well meaning film, with a likeable cast. While I don’t know if it fairly reflects high school, what is clear is it has something to say about a, sadly still, pervading sexism in too many areas of society.

Performances are good throughout Robinson does well carrying the bulk of the film, Amy Poehler is subtle and believable as her Mum, Pascual Pena and Lauren Tsia all help in keeping the film believable and creating characters to engage with.

That said, It isn’t wholly successfully, the big tonal shift in the second half doesn’t completely work and feels a bit heavy-handed in the way it handles some important subjects, not giving some of them the time they deserve. While the group of young women so focussed and driven in the first half of the film, feel like they take their eye off the ball in the second.

However, this didn’t detract from the film for me, it was enjoyable and while not as well executed as something like Booksmart, Poehler delivers a smart script and good performances from a young cast, to produce a humorous, likeable film with something interesting to say.

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