Pond’s review published on Letterboxd:
Genuinely surprised by the response this is getting. You tell me Amy Poehler directed a movie based on a YA novel from a couple years ago about girl power yeah this is kinda what I was expecting to get. It’s intersectional if intersectional means there is one line about how it’s harder for an Asian woman in the US than a white woman and if the movie cuts to all the minority characters whenever something cool happens so they can clap approvingly. There’s even a side character in a wheelchair who never gets an arc or becomes their friend but she’s always in the background nodding and clapping, approving of the actions of our main character. And don’t get me wrong I genuinely do like this cast, and I especially love to see an Afro Latina woman in a cute teen comedy, but it just feels like it’s all for brownie points in the end. The story is still through the lens of Vivian and doesn’t seem to have enough self awareness about her position and her freedom to yell about the patriarchy. I don’t think anything the movie says or does is terrible (well except for a total inability to understand Gatsby), but it just really feels exactly like Amy Poehler’s brand and that absolutely is a negative.