Moxie: Netflix’s Ode to Smashing the Patriarchy

Hannah Hall

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Netflix is constantly fulfilling the desire for new media with a fresh rotation of original shows and movies every few weeks. From cheesy romantic comedies to more intense documentaries, there is an option for everyone in the platform’s catalog of creations. One of the newest Netflix original movies is dedicated to the passionate teen girls who pop up in every generation. With a mix of witty teenage comedy, revolutionary ideas, and even a sprinkle of romance, Moxie is a film that should be added to your Netflix watch list.

Moxie was released to the platform on March 3rd, 2021. The film, produced and directed by Parks And Recreation star Amy Poehler, is based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu. 

PC: Netflix Media Center

Complete with a soundtrack riddled with Bikini Kill anthems, Moxie is the picture-perfect example of smashing the patriarchy. Starring Hadley Robinson and Alycia Pascual as the leaders of the revolution, this Amy Poehler-directed film tells the story of a group of teenage girls addressing and protesting the misogyny at their high school. Vivian, played by Robinson, is inspired by her mother’s feminist antics in the ’90s and anonymously publishes a zine ridiculing her school’s pro-misogynistic policies and blatant disregard for how the girls of the school feel.

The film strays from your typical teen comedy, dealing with real-life issues. 

Throughout the film, the girls of the “Moxie Club” struggle with blatantly anti-feminist issues at their school. From unfair dress code policies to obvious favoritism towards the male athletes of the school, the issues of Moxie hit close to home for many teen and young adult girls. Particularly, the scenes of a female student being reprimanded for wearing a tank top while a male student in the same classroom is also wearing a tank top is allowed to do so without consequence. This incident led to the first of many Moxie Club-led “protests”, with all the female students of the school wearing tank tops the next day.

Another captivating aspect of this film is an homage to the original patriarchy smashers. The Riot Grrl music and ‘90s feminist memorabilia throughout the film really makes the themes come full circle. The combination of the new age and the past make for such an amazing film that feels both modern and vintage at the same time.

The mix of intense, revolutionary-level passion from the films leading ladies along with the basic teen comedy depictions of young love and friendship struggles makes this film all the more appealing. Watching young girls struggle with both real serious issues and smaller more menial teenage problems gives Moxie an air of reality. It reminds the viewers that these patriarchy smashing rebels are still teenage girls dealing with teenage issues. While anonymously creating the Moxie zones and single-handedly leading a revolution of sorts, Vivianne is still dealing with her first relationship and being on the outs with her best friend.

Despite the intenseness the film holds at times, it is still heartwarming. The film is chalked full of passionate and inspiring young women, standing up for what they believe which is a refreshing break from the heartbreak-centered romantic teen comedies Netflix is notoriously known for. While I love the classic cheesy book-to-screen teen romcoms as much as the next person, Moxie is no To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before or Kissing Booth.

My final thought on this film is that it is a must-watch. Not only is inspiring, funny, and all-around an amazing film, but it speaks on important issues. It is refreshing to see Netflix delve into a more niche mixture of entertainment and information. If you take nothing else away from this film, just remember to smash the patriarchy and stand up for yourself.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, featured, What to Watch

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