Amy Poehler showcases teen spirit and female empowerment in her adaptation of ‘MOXIE!’

Pamela Faller, Design Editor

“Reflect on a cause you feel passionate about. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took to make a change.” In the first few minutes of the new Netflix original MOXIE!, sixteen-year-old protagonist Vivian Carter is seen hopelessly staring at this college essay prompt before getting ready for her first day back in high school. Directed by American actress and writer Amy Poehler, MOXIE! follows Vivian’s journey in finding her passion. 

The optimistic film displays a powerful female-led teen rebellion against gender discrimination and sexual harrassment. Fed up with sexist gender norms and inspired by her mom’s rebellious past, Vivian anonymously creates a feminist zine with the name “Moxie,” meaning force of character, determination, or nerve. Initially searching for a thesis for her college essay, Vivian ends up leading the girls of her high school in a teen revolution. 

Through her demonstration of spreading awareness and shedding light on problems previously ignored at her school, Vivian is able to forge new friendships and find new interests. Her growth from the shy girl to a powerful leader is refreshingly motivating to see. She makes real progress in finding a true passion and not just one for a college essay. Her new friends allow her to grow into a confident young woman who isn’t scared to speak up even if it means breaking a few rules.

While the movie has received criticism for its formulaic or bland structure, it still has many qualities that make it a film worthy of watching. With so many coming-of-age movies out there, it’s inevitable that there will be similar themes and storylines. Poehler does well in making Vivian’s story entertaining while also shedding light on the importance of activism today. 

The film also features a lot of cultural diversity with girls from different backgrounds, making its message relatable to more than just one group of people. It touches on common problems in today’s society such as slut-shaming and sexist dress codes. MOXIE! emphasizes the strength of connection between women fighting for an important cause: gender equality. 

MOXIE! is definitely a movie to watch. It provides an inspiring, relevant message fit for girls of all ages and cultural backgrounds.