Moxie

Moxie ★★★

While Moxie is far less successful than other similar high school movies, director Amy Poehler instils it with a strong message without going overboard in melodramatics to make her point. It revolves around Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a shy high school junior who abruptly accepts it upon herself to shove back against the inequality of how other students and teachers treat women and other marginalised groups at Rockport High School. She quickly knocks together a DIY feminist fanzine titled Moxie and then distributes it anonymously around the school, becoming a tool of empowerment for several students and a contentious issue for others. 

The high school comedy-drama is both a generous and sympathetic coming-of-age teen film; however, Vivian and her school friends are relatively underdeveloped by the Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer written screenplay. Still, while it doesn't wholly succeed in what it yearns to achieve, it's an admirable celebration of women power that's effortless enough to enjoy, even if it attempts to juggle a little too many things. Directed by Amy Poehler, the Netflix film is another sign that the streaming giant knows its audience, and it continues to serve them well, especially over the past few years.

The cast includes a talented assortment of newcomers, and the student's growing singleness of purpose, which breaks down their prearranged social groups, has some decent moments. Robinson delivers a rather engaging leading performance, and she has some good support, especially in Patrick Schwarzenegger, the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger, as unpleasant sportsperson Mitchell. Nevertheless, it does not entirely successfully craft a compelling narrative framework through which the film's central message can be communicated effectively, introduces threads of ideas, and then wholly abandons them. Moxie hardly starts to scratch at the surface of women's liberation and individual strengthening, but it's a commendable battle cry.

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