Riot Grrrl reincarnated: Review of Netflix’s new film “Moxie” Riot Grrrl reincarnated: Review of Netflix’s new film “Moxie”
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BY NICOLE NADLER “Moxie” (2021), one of the latest installments in Netflix’s original movie catalog, is a film that has brought back what it... Riot Grrrl reincarnated: Review of Netflix’s new film “Moxie”

BY NICOLE NADLER

Moxie” (2021), one of the latest installments in Netflix’s original movie catalog, is a film that has brought back what it means to be spunky. While many have thought that the spirit of punk left with Avril Lavigne’s 2002 song “Sk8er Boi,” this movie proves exactly otherwise and beckons similarities to social movements like the 90s Riot Grrrl genre.

“Moxie” stars Hadley Robinson as Vivian, a fearless teen who is relentless in her rebellion against any of the typical constructs related to high school life. 

After school hours, the students at Vivian’s school make phony and inappropriate school superlatives that comment on girls’ appearance without their permission. So, in response, Vivian and her friends craft “Moxie,” an anonymous magazine that calls out the participant’s foolish behavior and the sexist issues they see across their school.

This movie illuminates the high school struggles of an average teen during the age of social media, illustrating what it’s like to be constantly compared to others and have your appearance be constantly streamlined.

Additionally, it covers the issue of school dress codes as well as the rights of transgender youth in schools, both of which are very current and relatable topics for students today. The magazine calls out these sexist policies in a very relatable way.

The magazine calls out these sexist policies in a very relatable way.

“Moxie” was directed by and stars Amy Poehler, who also acted in the classic teen comedy “Mean Girls” (2004). One has to draw connections between the “Moxie” magazine and the Burn Book. In fact, it seems to be a sort of spin-off on the Burn Book, yet with a very modern feminist twist.

Instead of insolence,“Moxie” highlights misogyny and shows how girls can make an impact in their community. It definitely goes without saying that they have been changemakers in their community. Titling the magazine “Moxie” was perfect and really emulated the feel of the movie—it seemed to be a genius decision by the filmmakers.

Besides the sense of punkiness and feminism, there were elements of “Moxie” that were missing, though. For instance, the movie should have developed the acting range and arcs of each of the characters more. For the most part, they seemed flat in their roles. They seemed subsequent to the actual role and overall, the actors remained safe in their portrayals. The range of an actual teenager is much less harmonious, so this was a fault in the movie.

Nonetheless, this movie is a grandiose and pure definition of what the term “moxie” truly means. “Moxie” was very enjoyable overall with several good acting performances. While it was very flat due to its characters that were dull and really did not serve much of a purpose, it encapsulates a strong sense of female punk, akin to phenomena like the Riot Grrrl movement.

“Moxie” details a turbulent high school life while showcasing the true reality of social media depictions and how fast gossip can spread around a school. A collective of girls create a magazine entitled “Moxie” that calls out cyberbullies and eventually the sexism, misogyny and racism they found all across the school.
  • Strong message.
  • Powerful film.
  • Confidence-boosting.
  • Dull characters.
  • Safe acting performances.

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Photo courtesy of Mashable

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