🍿 popcorn murderer’s review published on Letterboxd:
“It has potential, I guess.” - my friend and I at the beginning of the movie
“It has potential, I guess...” - my friend and I at the end of the movie
There were a lot of things I disliked about the movie, but let’s start off with the things that worked for me, and we’ll work our way down to the spoiler parts.
First of all, I really liked how each girl ‘joined’ the Moxie movement. They all had separate reasons for joining, all of which were related to the injustice they faced (which, sadly, was very realistic). After joining, they all had different attitudes - some were humble and quiet, some were outspoken and passionate, and they all contributed in their own ways. This is also where I appreciated the diversity of the characters and how they used each of their backgrounds & identities to the fullest - I’m talking about the East Asian character here - I’m really proud of how the parental pressure to stay within the lines comes into play.
However, a lot of the side characters acted very stereotypically. One of the black characters (the one who isn’t Lucy or Kiera) spoke in a very stereotypical black sassy ‘yass gurl’ way that nobody in real life ever does, and that was very annoying to watch because no way the creators would’ve overlooked that.
Also, I don’t know how to feel about having Vivian as the main character. Although at some point she acknowledges that she is more privileged than those around her, the storyline is still too centred around her relationship with Seth.
⚠️ spoiler zone ⚠️
And that brings me to the part that I am least satisfied with: the male characters.
I feel like there was no need to introduce Seth as a romantic interest. Although it’s good for the story to take a break from the Moxie zine storyline, having the only male feminist be the love interest is kind of lazy and sends the wrong message. It leaves no middle ground for boys to simply be feminists without any personal attachment.
On the flip side, I really hated the portrayal of Mitchell. He was a pain in the ass and that part was okay and necessary, but I have very mixed feelings about him being revealed to be a rapist at the end.
I don’t think people have to be outright assaulters to be detrimental or a hindrance towards the feminist movement. And similarly, they don’t have to be rapists to perpetuate rape culture. So having Mitchell as one just dramatises the whole situation and again, doesn’t seem to leave room for middle ground.
🟢 spoiler-free zone!! 🟢
However, the character of Principal Shelley was written really well!! I found myself hating her so much because of all the internalised misogyny and her need to do things the ‘proper’ way all the time. It really showed sexism as something that existed in structures and systems, and something that was actively enforced by people.
So in the end, there were a lot of hype, exuberant moments which showed the unity between the girls despite their differences. I also liked the soundtrack and the artwork of the movie (will now be obsessively searching up images of feminist zines on Pinterest) but the movie has to stop from having too many archetypal characters (e.g. the snappy black girl, the love interest, the complete asshole) and instead show more nuance.
P.S. the song Heaven by Brandi Carlile was used in this movie, and it was perfect. Go give it a listen!!