By David Leduc
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Moxie is Amy Poelher’s second film. The one who is also known for her participation in the cult show Saturday Night Live had already produced A weekend in Napa, already visible on the Netflix platform. With Moxie, Amy Poelher adapts the eponymous best seller by Jennifer Mathieu, published in 2017 and reference in the young adult category.
Moxie narrates the search for identity of a teenager (played by Hadley Robinson) who creates a feminist protest movement in a high school where sexism is king. In the cast, we also find the director Amy Poehler, as well as Marcia Gay Harden.
Upsetting the archetypes of teen-movie, a genre that spans the years with its well-gendered characters, to make it a revolutionary object, where all communities and/or minorities have their place: this is the objective that Amy Poehler has given herself with his adaptation of Moxie. Is it successful? Clearly not, and his comedy is very much in line with the genre and will probably not remain a reference.
In question, a very low importance given to the different protagonists, very warm and bland despite all the talent of the casting to try to give them thickness. Paradoxically, the gendered and well codified universe of the teen-movie does not disappear (of course we find the captain of the football team in the role of the bad boy, the headmistress without faith or law, the marginalized, the cheerleaders, the nerd… But it yields a more substantial place to archetypes, often brought without finesse, of a group of minorities which ultimately does not serve as a pretext.
As in any teen-movie, the quest for self and the duality between teenagers and adults is very present, but the film also tries to attach several social themes to its note of intent. And not least, from rape to racism, through body shaming, sexism and school harassment. Everything is there. At the risk of weighing down a film that deserved to be seen for what it is, namely a light and pop initiatory story, served by an impeccable rock soundtrack. The youngest may be satisfied with it.
Moxie, by and starring Amy Poehler, starring Hadley Robinson, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger and Marcia Gay Harden. Available on Netflix. **
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