Moxie [Grade: B]

Director: Amy Poehler

Cast: Hadley Robinson, Alycia Pascual, Lauren Tsai, Josephine Langford, Nico Hiraga, & Patrick Schwarzenegger

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I don’t know where the #Moxie hype came from, but since I got a whiff of it, I figured I’d check it out and see what was up. To be honest, I wasn’t as interested in this film based on the trailer. It felt too PG-13 specific, and a little outdated to be quite honest. 

Then I watched, and I wouldn’t say I was glad that I did… but I will say it’s definitely good for it’s targeted demographic that’s implied from the PG-13 rating—it’s how I felt when I watched #TheHateUGive (except I read that book, so my opinion was a little harsher).  

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Below are my grades for key components in #Moxie that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. 

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.

* * *

Theme: A

Plot: B

Pacing: B

Character Arc/Development: C

General Entertainment Factor: Interesting Enough

Film Enthusiast Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush

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1. The way the film addresses feminism and patriarchy for this age group was well done. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

2. I did find the principal to be unrealistic/too exaggerated. As someone in education, I couldn’t see some of the things she said happening in 2021, and I think part of it had to do with the subtle comedic tone her character seemed to have…🤨👎🏾

3. I really liked the initial set up of Vivian and Claudia’s characters. If there was a film just based on them being the “outcast-adjacent” students narrating life as a Rockport student, that could be fun. 👍🏾👍🏾

4. The personal statement being this undertone to Vivian’s impetus to “lead” felt random, and not really developed well. 👎🏾

5. And to piggyback off of #4, I don’t think Vivian was the best character to “lead” the cause. I wonder what it would have looked like if Lucy was the “lead” with Vivian being this voice that’s not heard in her school community. 🤔🤷🏾‍♂️

6. I enjoyed seeing Amy Poehler. She just has this nice ease to her acting and comedy. 👍🏾

7. Now…I know they are friends, but there was nothing about that friendship to make Claudia do that… it felt random for the sake of adding tension to the plot. 🤨👎🏾

8. Also, to piggyback off of #5, Lucy was a nice character. Though…I did prefer her in the exposition to climax vs in the falling action and resolution. 👍🏾

9. Yes SETH! 🙌🏾🙌🏾

10. I appreciated this subtle, yet blatant representation of mediocre white men via Mitchell and Mr. Davies. 👍🏾👍🏾

11. I didn’t like the ending with everyone “standing up and saying something…”as a Black person, it felt forced and not as serious. Furthermore, it’s an outdated argument and request—we’ve already addressed this in prior years… 🤦🏾‍♂️

12. You know what’s interesting, in response to point #10… Vivian’s character also played into  this White woman, somewhat inauthentic ally-ship…like, her alliance via “leading the cause” felt like her attempt at “righting a wrong” through social charity… #IonLikeDat 👀🥴🤷🏾‍♂️

13. Also, as much as I loved Seth’s character, why did we need to have him in the capacity that he was in? I mean, I guess it’s high school… but still… another reason why Lucy should have been the one leading the cause… 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️

14. Ooop, at the Moxie party… OKAY LUCY!🙌🏾 

15. You know, I also wonder what this movie could have been like if it was written around the scholarship, with the feminism and male privilege aspect being that elevated component…🤔

16. I personally wanted more use with “Moxie” interrupting the school community. 👀🤷🏾‍♂️ 

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Overall, #Moxie is cute. I hate to use that word with this film, but unfortunately, that has more to do with the overall product/presentation of its messaging. It is definitely powerful, specifically and especially for our pre-teens, but there was a level of seriousness and genuineness that was missing in the tone and delivery via the main character to to really elevate the conversation of feminism and anti-patriarchy with our young people for me. 

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