I am so very pleased by this new feminist coming of age film by Amy Poehler. This film accomplishes everything it sets out to accomplish and that’s great to see because this film is an important one to get right. Moxie handles it’s heavy subject matter with great skill.
The feminism presented in Moxie is intersectional, inclusive, and doesn’t condemn men in general. THIS is feminism done correctly and I couldn’t be happier to see a strong film targeted towards young adults that makes sure it gets this right. On top of handling it’s material well, it’s also very entertaining and heartwarming.
Sometimes certain feminists can be exclusionary when it comes to women of color and especially when it comes to transgender women. Moxie bucks that toxic version of feminism and says, “Hell no! We’re going to make sure that we include all women in this and give platforms to both women of color and transgender women!” I was so pleased to see the beautiful diversity and to see girls sticking up for other girls.
The issue of being shy and not really wanting to stick your neck out is also explored here in an interesting way. There is one girl who’s just a natural introvert and I liked the way the film made clear that she too could contribute to the cause, just in a more behind the scenes way that makes her feel comfortable. That is a very real issue, plenty of folks care and wish to help but they just aren’t a very social person. It’s important to make clear that they have a place and can help out in meaningful ways that just aren’t as public. After all, it does take a village.
Men are very much a part of the feminist movement in this film and I cannot express clearly enough how much I loved that and how crucially important that is. The main character gets involved with a guy at her school who shows very early support for the cause and it made my heart so happy to see this included. There are so many progressive feminist males out there who are more than ready to help smash the patriarchy and Moxie knows that.
In addition to having a well written script, this film has a talented cast to bring these words to life. Hadley Robinson is a bright talented young actress who does an admirable job as the lead character here. She is not only strong and formidable but she’s also very likeable and delightful to watch.
I have to give a big shoutout to Alycia Pascual Pena for her electric performance here as Lucy. Pena plays her role with such moral clarity and carries an unwavering dedication to her beliefs. On top of all that, Lucy is also just a badass that I’m sure anyone would want as a friend! Lauren Tsai does a very good job as well as the shy but caring lifelong bestie of the main character, I’d like to see more from her for sure.
I can’t tell you how much I adored Nico Hiraga in this! Hiraga plays the main character’s love interest and oh my god he was so great here. Not only is he super sweet and charming but he’s also completely dedicated to supporting what’s right, even when a lot of guys around him aren’t.
And the chemistry between him and Robinson is simply electric. The romantic scenes between these two lovebirds are so organic and heartwarming, their relationship just made me so happy. Nothing about their connection seemed hokey or too over the top syrupy sweet, it came across as authentic and genuine.
I also have to commend Patrick Schwarzenegger for his performance as the disgustingly sexist captain of the football team. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to do a lot of the awful things he must do here but he really does give a good performance. I was enraged by him and hated his character’s guts, which is exactly how I’m supposed to feel about him.
I was happy to see Marcia Gay Harden in this, she’s such a talented actress and just all around lovely person in real life so I love to see her get work. And last but not least, I must commend Amy Poehler not only for her performance but also for her decision to direct this film. Good job Amy… good job. To be perfectly honest, the only criticism I have is that I wanted a little more of Amy Poehler. Her character is so delightful and I wanted her to get a little more screen time.
Moxie is a well written film that makes sure to be intersectional and inclusive in it’s important message and it also makes sure to be entertaining and very heartwarming. Give this one a watch!
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