Moxie

Moxie ★★

I truly cannot wait until the generation of adults that was bullied as teenagers gets too old to write films. 

At some point in the late 90s or early 2000s, anti-drug posters dropped off school walls, and were replaced by anti-bullying propaganda. And oddly... it worked. Maybe the messaging was heavy-handed, but kids just — became kinder to one another. “Booksmart” and “21 Jump Street” are two of the stronger teen film entries in the last decades for capturing this exact phenomenon. 

“Moxie” though - did not get the message. 

Amy Poehler’s second directorial outing depicts the seismic aftershocks that occur when a high schooler starts spreading Bikini Kill-inspired rebel feminism around her campus. The macho popular boys are threatened, the weirdos reign. You’ve heard this all before. 

While “Moxie” deserves props for taking a swing at introducing intersectionality to a younger generation, it’s ultimately a redundant meet and greet. To the fourth wave feminists now prepping for SATs, intersectional feminism simply is feminism. 

Teenagers are oodles better people than we give them credit for. “Edge of Seventeen” captured this perfectly in Hailee Steinfeld’s destructively self-absorbed protagonist. Her own greatest adversary, she was the embodiment of ‘too much going on right now.’ Her cruelty wasn’t calculated - just an aftereffect of the chaos from becoming herself. 

How about this - teens in 2021 are bullied. But they are all victimised — and not by any clique of queen bees. They are terrorised by constant school shooting drills. They live in the shadow of unreachable expectations to enter top universities. They are stalked by the idea of actual planet death in their lifetimes. 

Basically - they don’t need Bikini Kill to teach them revolution. To them — its always just been a necessity.

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