My Rating: 9/10
This fucking movie, man. Okay, let’s get the damn summary segment over with because there’s a lot I want to say about this thing. Beware Minor Spoilers!
Moxie is a 2021 Netflix Dramedy about Vivian, an 11th grader coming of age, discovering her roots, and smashing the patriarchy. We’re introduced to Vivian at the beginning of the school year. She’s an introverted young woman who keeps her head down in a school steeped in polite (and some not-so-polite) misogyny. The entire school, especially the adults, seem quite happy to ignore the problems at best, actively encourage them at worst, and Vivian does as she’s been trained to by society her whole life: accepts things the way they are.
Then Lucy shows up. A young, strong black teenager. The bullies home in on her real quick, but Lucy isn’t like everyone else at school. Lucy doesn’t put her head down and accept things the way they are, she holds her head up high, and Vivian notices. And I think this is when Vivian really realizes all this shit she’s been grudgingly accepting is wrong.
Vivian finds some of her mother’s riot grrrl gear from the 90s. A combination of all these strong female influences culminates into a moment when she can’t take all the double standards, micro-aggressions, and blatant mother-fucking aggressions that everyone’s turning a blind eye to anymore. She has had enough.
What follows is, without spoiling too much, a rocky journey of self-discovery as Vivian navigates intersectional feminism through a teenage lens, and struggles against her lifetime of conditioning that makes branching off from the crowd and holding her head up high as a woman so damn difficult.
This movie doesn’t go super deep or tragic with its message. I like that. I’ve honestly never seen a feel-good feminist comedy before, but now I can say I have, and it was amazing. I spent most of this movie smiling, and although I was worried at the beginning that some characters I liked would eventually show their true colours, that never happened. Good people actually stayed good people, and that is so fucking rare in movies like this with any social-justice-related messages. It was downright refreshing, for real.
The romance between Vivian and her classmate Seth is adorable. Not just because he has awesome hair, but legit, just adorable. The acting, the writing, the directing was all on point.
Oh, and the music! Okay, listen. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t normally give a flying rat’s ass about movie soundtracks. I rarely even notice the score unless it’s wildly inappropriate or overdramatic and annoys me. But in this case, this movie’s soundtrack was my goddamn childhood! I grew up on Bikini Kill! Fuck yeah, Kathleen Hanna! I was dancing and singing along all alone at my desk like a dork, but no one saw, and you know the rules about trees and forests and shit.
Anyway… Yeah. This movie was fun. It illustrates a lot of ongoing issues with modern misogyny without all the heaviness and tragic onslaught of a cruel world crushing them at every turn like movies about feminism often have. I mean, they go that way for good reason — it’s realistic, but it was nice to have a movie that was just fun and easy and still had an important message. Only reason I didn’t give it a 10/10, was because it could have gone further with the intersectionality. This was easily my favourite movie in a long time.
Must Watch. Hell, if you hate feminism, then maybe it’ll even be a fun hate-watch. Enjoy!
Oh shit, I just made the mistake of going through IMDB reviews for it. Wow, okay.
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Sam Clover is an author of M/M dark romance. She swears like a sailor, gobbles up horror movies and m/m books like they’re going out of style, and runs an erotica discord server.
She’s Canadian, pansexual, demi-sexual, atheist, humanist, and loves all things sea-related. Especially pirates… And sea creatures. And Storms, waves, water, seaside villages, weathered wood, sea glass, delicious seaweed, and everything else that ever existed in the ocean at any time.