A teen comedy drama that tries to reach the heights of Booksmart but doesn’t quite succeed, this movie from director Amy Poehler tells the story of Vivian (Robinson), a shy 16-year-old who discovers her voice when she anonymously publishes a school zine called Moxie to expose the anti-girl bias and bullying in her high school.
While she previously preferred to fly under the school radar with her best friend Claudia (Tsai), the arrival of new girl (Pascual-Pena) Lucy, who stands up to arrogant school jock Mitchell (Schwarzenegger), inspires Vivian to follow in the footsteps of her own mother’s (Poehler) rebellious past. Moxie sparks something of a revolution in the school, as the girls band together (the movie thankfully never pits its central characters against each other) to draw attention to the injustices that seem to be being ignored by everyone, including the school’s principal )Marcia Hay Harden)
Wryly amusing rather than out and out funny, this flounders somewhat in its attempts to tick all the boxes of the female coming of age movie (first love – check, falling out with best friend – check), but gets by thanks to winning performances from Robinson, Nico Hiraga (as Vivian’s potential love interest), and Poehler plus a slitheringly nasty turn from Schwarzenegger.
It’s a little uneven, too – serious, upsetting moments are dealt with a little too quickly and easily – and some of the characters are clichés, but Moxie’s heart is in the right place and it does get to say some important things about the way women and girls are treated without ever preaching to its audience.
Is Moxie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The movie is aimed at teens rather than younger viewers. It does include a reference to rape, and under age drinking is also featured.
There are also sex references, and the film focuses on bullying.
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