Sunday, May 16

Moxie Review: Upbeat Defiance Wins On Amy Poehler’s Rebel Girl Comedy | Amy poehler

TO gleeful account of the power of riot grrrl passed down from mother to daughter, Amy Poehler’s return to the director’s chair (after 2019 Wine country) is a very upbeat high school game with timely themes from the # MeToo era. Adapted by screenwriters Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer from Jennifer Mathieu’s hit junior novel, it may lack the depth of Eighth grade or the punch of Smart booking, but he’s still blessed with enough post-punk energy to raise a smile, several laughs, and the occasional punching ovation.

Hadley Robinson as Vivian, a head-down student (“It’s so nice not to be on anyone’s radar”) voted “most obedient” on the crude list compiled by high school jocks, grotesquely ranking girls in categories including “Best Rack” and “Most Bangable”. Like most of her schoolmates, including studious best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai), Vivian accepts and even wait this kind of everyday sexism, thanks in part to the complacency of director Shelly (a Marcia Gay Harden with a scornful smile) who sees it as a bit of “fun.”

But when the sensible new arrival Lucy (Saved by the campaign star Alycia Pascual-Peña) takes on lewd school soccer idol Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger), Vivian is inspired to join their battle, albeit anonymously. Lit by an old suitcase littered with the debris of her mother’s punk past (flyers, badges, cassettes), she assembles the headline DIY feminist fanzine and then secretly distributes it through the bathrooms and hallways of East Rockport High. Soon, the entire school is wondering, “Who is Moxie?”, As previously oppressed girls from all social groups come together, pulling a sheet out of the spooky photocopied pages of the newsletter to fight the boys.

Nico Hiraga, Amy Poehler and Hadley Robinson in Moxie.
Nico Hiraga, Amy Poehler and Hadley Robinson in Moxie. Photograph: Colleen Hayes / Netflix

Anyone with a soft spot for energetically rebellious high school photos will find plenty of familiar things here, be it Jane Austen’s gut intrigues. Clueless, the miniature sketches of teen cliques so perfectly outlined in Tina Fey’s scripted classic Bad Girls, or the elimination of sexual politics dating back to the already strongly reflective gender Easy one. There are scenes of solidarity in the dressing room that cleverly echo the rebellion of the bandits of Stick it, and Nico Hiraga is clearly separated from TwilightThe Fabric of “Team Jacob” as Seth, the late bloomer, formerly known as “the shrimp,” is now an amateur but sensitive skateboarder displaying a puppyish devotion to Vivian.

It would be easy to scoff at the diverse rainbow coalition that Moxie Imaginations may suddenly put their differences aside, but the movie is smart enough to concede that middle-class white girl Vivian doesn’t have all the answers. A scene in which Claudia has to explain to her best friend that being the daughter of immigrants puts her in a very different position than Vivian strikes exactly the right note.

Smart casting is key to Moxieattractive, especially rising star Robinson (formerly best known on television Utopia), who strikes a well-calculated balance between sympathetic, moody, and occasionally self-righteous. In “adult” roles, Ike Barinholtz is perfect as Master Davies, whose response to “women’s problems” is to walk out of the room, while Marcia Gay Harden’s forced smile is perfectly suited to the director who appears to be lacking. of principles. As for Poehler, she is in her element as a single mother to Vivian, seeking a quiet life, but whose rebellious spirit has not been entirely quelled. “When I was 16,” she tells Vivian, “the only thing that mattered to me was crushing the patriarchy,” a mantle that she has duly, albeit accidentally, bequeathed to her daughter.

A lighthearted performance by young musical Linda Lindas adds a sparkling charm, giving an upbeat stab to Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl anthem. Such positivity is totally in keeping with a film that manages to tackle the spectrum of bullying, harassment, and rape with a strong spirit of defiance, humor, and most importantly, collective optimism.

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