By Michell Diaz-Flores
Rating: PG-13 Length: 1h 51 m
Release Date: March 3, 2021
Directed By: Amy Poehler
Writers: Tamara Chestna, Dylan Meyer
Cast: Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Nico Hiraga, Sydney Park, Josephine Langford, Clark Gregg, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Anjelika Washington, Charlie Hall, Sabrina Haskett, Ike Barinholtz, Amy Poehler, Marcia Gay Harden.
Amy Poehler’s 2021 comedy-drama film Moxie follows an introverted teenager named Vivian who steps up as the voice of a feminist movement created by her anonymously. The movement showed constant determination to face the challenges girls in her high school faced daily. The film is celebrated for how modern feminism is viewed and the actions that were taken by teenage girls to create this powerful movement. Moxie focuses on the old saying “Doing something is better than doing nothing.”
The opening scene starts with a nightmare in which Vivian runs through the forest but as she opens her mouth to scream nothing comes out. When she wakes up she focuses on the question of what do sixteen-year-olds care about based upon her college application. Throughout the movie, Vivian is portrayed as an introverted teenage girl accompanied by her best friend Claudia who is portrayed the same way. A shift in her character occurs when she meets the new girl named Lucy who is the complete opposite of Vivian and politically minded. Lucy isn’t afraid to remain silent to the unfair treatment received from Mitchell Wilson, captain of the football team, and Mr. Daves who learns valuable lessons about feminism.
Feeling voiceless in her environment Vivian gains inspiration from her mother Lisa’s rebellious past to take action. She creates a zine called Moxie and leaves it in the bathroom. The movement starts to arise and becomes a whole school movement through the end of the movie. Although Vivian faced obstacles through her journey she managed to overcome them and be the start of the representation of the female voice.
Analysis of the Plot Elements:
The start and end of a movie are very significant because they reveal a lot about the changes and journeys the protagonist faces. In the beginning, Vivian wakes up from her nightmare of running through the forest and trying to scream but nothing comes up. This scene portrays how Vivian feels voiceless and has the struggle to speak for herself and others. Throughout the movie, Vivian undergoes a character change as she starts to take action to defend the underrepresented female voice at her school. At the end of the movie Vivian appears again in the forest but this time she is able to scream and let her voice be heard.
An important event that occurred in the movie was when Vivian showed support for a student who was sexually assaulted and revealed her secret that she was the one who created Moxie. This event was very significant because students showed their support towards the movement by protesting against the injustices.
Vivian is a feminist leader that shows that bravery can be shown in different forms. Although she is a very shy teenager she decided to do something instead of nothing. An important symbol that represents Vivian’s character is her leather jacket. Her jacket made her feel powerful and portrayed her boldness.
Lucy was a very impactful and fearless character in Vivian’s journey that led her to become the voice of this feminist movement. At the beginning of the movie, Lucy faces harassment from Mitchelll Wilson and she keeps her head up although she did try to report but was ignored by principal Shelly.
Opinion / Conclusion:
How is modern feminism portrayed? Feminism can be portrayed in taking action through different forms such as petitions, movements, media, etc but one thing is certain is that things have changed significantly throughout the years. As a teenage introverted girl, I found the movie Moxie very inspirational, and the small actions the movement took that led them to bigger actions really had that inspirational effect on me. This movie does have the power to inspire young women to speak and to take action on injustices they face. This film focuses on targeting young girls and provides different platforms/elements ideas for them to get their message across to people. Regarding how women are currently treated in politics I think there’s still more of a men domination and women are underrepresented. A lot of women are discouraged due to sexism, stereotypes, and prejudice.
Overall the movie broadly represented real-life problems that young women up to this day still face. It doesn’t represent other global factors such as the fight for equal income, misinformation, lack of access to health care, etc. Although the film did incorporate a lot of ideas from the 90s based on the inspiration Vivian gets from her mother such as the zine. It also included modern elements such as the use of social media to promote the feminist movement. As the old saying goes “it’s better to do something than nothing” and the small actions that started this movement led to a greater movement that allowed those young women to come together to let their voices be heard. Moxie joins a long list of films that address society’s struggle with equality. What is your take on the movie Moxie?