‘Moxie’ review: The Riot Grrrl movement returns



Hadley Robinson plays Moxie in Amy Poehler’s directorial debut.

Feminism: That’s what this movie is mainly about. Scratch that—that is what the movie is all about. The movie starts off with the main character Vivian Carter (Hadley Robinson), a shy 16-year-old girl that goes to a school that treats women as objects meant for men’s pleasure. What’s most messed up is that the football team has created a list that points out girls’ assets; for example, Emma Cunningham (Josephine Langford) was voted most bangable. The kids at the school along with the teachers and principal have brushed this off as boys being boys. Vivian didn’t think much of it until she talked to her mom. Her mom told her how when she was in high school, she and her friends fought the patriarchy. 

After talking with her mom and really thinking about the stuff happening at her school, Vivian decides to make zines under the pen name Moxie. Pretty much everyone in the school takes notice, including the teachers and principal. The principal had the most negative things to say, focusing on victim-blaming and the mantra that “Boys will be boys.” To show that they supported Moxie, the kids drew hearts and stars on their hands. 

What’s a good high school movie without a bit of romance? Vivian actually likes a guy named Seth (Nico Hiraga) who, along with most people at the school, supported Moxie and drew stars and hearts on his hand. I can’t blame her. Who wouldn’t like a guy who knows girls shouldn’t be treated any differently based on their gender or what they’re wearing? Keep in mind that no one knows that Vivian is Moxie, so think of it as having a second life.  

I’m not gonna lie, I at first thought the acting was bad. What went through my head as I was watching this was, “There is no way guys actually act like this,” but then I remembered that we live in a world where women have to carry tasers or some sort of protection in case they are sexually harassed, or worse. 

Now, back to the movie. Vivian was having a hard time keeping this whole thing a secret, especially from her best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai), who was becoming suspicious of Vivian. If you have watched high school movies, you should know what’s coming up, but if you aren’t familiar with high school movies, I will explain. What pretty much happened was that Vivian and Claudia had an argument because Claudia knew Vivian was keeping something from her and wanted to know what. Of course, Vivian doesn’t tell her for obvious reasons. That ends up having the two best friends split up. 

I don’t want to spoil the movie too much than I already have, and I’m sure you have the right idea. So if you want a good movie to watch during the summer, I highly recommend this movie. Or if you don’t feel like watching it, you could always get the book at your local library or bookstore.