Netflix’s Moxie has a solid and powerful message but unfortunately, misses the mark on its target audience. Check out all the details in my parents guide movie review.
Netflix’s new movie Moxie drops on the streaming service tomorrow, March 3rd. The film is adapted from Jennifer Mathieu’s 2017 novel of the same name and directed by Amy Poehler, who also has a role in it. With Poehler at the helm, one might think this YA film is along the same lines as Mean Girls, however Moxie is a heavy-handed story that centers around sexism and those who choose to ignore it. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
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Moxie Parents Guide Movie Review
Lucy (Alycia Pascual) is a new student at Rockport High School and falls victim to bullying at the hands of football captain Mitchell Wilson (Patrick Schwarzenegger). After Lucy reports the harrassment to principal Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden), who decides to look the other way, fellow classmate Vivian (Hadley Robinson) decides enough is enough. Inspired by her mom’s (Amy Poehler) own teenage activism, Vivian writes an anonymous zine called Moxie which calls out the sexism and double standards in the school. This sparks a revolution and an activism “club” named Moxie but also leads to a strained friendship between Vivian and her best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai).
Moxie Age Appropriate
Lets take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids view Moxie movie.
Language: Moxie has some strong language including: the S-word, a**, a**h*le, d*ck and the F-word is used once. They also reference the c-word but actually call it “the C word” when referencing it.
Sexual Content: Kissing is shown and sex is discussed but there is no sex on screen and no nudity. There is also the heavy subject of rape discussed and one character confesses she was raped by another character.
Triggering Content: There is some bullying which takes place in the film which may be triggering for some kids/teens. An example of this is a scene in which one character spits into a soda of another character. There is also a “list” created which is very demeaning to females. The list classifies females in catagories like “best a**” and “most bangable.”
The question arises after watching Netflix’s Moxie movie is, who exactly is the film made for? At first it feels targeted toward the YA genre and reminds viewers of the likes of Booksmart or Mean Girls, but where Moxie seems to divert from these sorts of films is in its lack of humor and light-heartedness. For a film made about teenagers, it just doesn’t seem to appeal to them. Which is a shame because the message in this film is an important one and one that would resonate best with the young adult crowd. One of my favorite scenes in the film exposes the sexism within the school, when a young girl is sent home for wearing a tank top while no repercussions are given to a less zaftig student wearing the same top. This confrontation leads to a revolt with all the girls showing up in tank tops the next day but more importantly brings to light the discrimination many teen girls face daily.
As the director, Amy Poehler injects much of the D.I.Y. punk for the new generation aspect of the movie, likely based on her own life experiences and nostalgia of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Central to the theme of the movie, it is this punk manifesto and spirit combined with the modern #MeToo movement that ultimately connects mother and daughter and sees the “women rule” torch passed on to the next generation.
Where Moxie works best is when it centers on the solid characters and their relationships. We see best friends Vivian and Claudia’s friendship strained as Vivian goes from timid student to a more radicalized social justice warrior. Being “woke” to these issues doesn’t mean it has to be accomplished one specific way, there are many styles and facets to the movement of bringing awareness to the plight of women throughout history, and each one can be “punk” in their own right.