Starring: Hadley Robinson, Amy Poehler, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Nico Hiraga, Josephine Langford, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Ike Barinholtz, Marcia Gay Harden, Clark Gregg, Sydney Park
OUR RATING: ★★½
Netflix’s comedy drama directed by Amy Poehler. The story follows shy teenager Vivian (Hadley Robinson), who prefers to keep her head down and fly under the radar. But when the arrival of a new student, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña), forces her to examine the unchecked behavior of her fellow students running rampant at her high school, Vivian realizes she’s fed up. Inspired by her mother’s, Lisa (Amy Poehler), rebellious past, Vivian anonymously publishes an underground zine called Moxie to expose bias and wrongdoing in her high school, and unexpectedly sparks a movement.
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Claudia: Did you hear, rankings are already starting?
Vivian: What? This is the first day. I mean, they haven’t even had time to like look at us yet. I mean, are they basing their decisions on summer? Because nobody even saw us this summer. Unless someone was secretly spying on us playing Mario Kart in your mom’s basement.
Claudia: Ooh, then I might get ranked Best Power Slide on Rainbow Road.
Vivian: It’s so nice not to be on anyone’s radar.
Claudia: It’s going to be Kiera Pascal for Best A**” again. For sure.
Vivian: It’s not fair. She’s captain of the soccer team. I mean, do they know how much running and jumping she’s doing?
Claudia: Kaitlynn Price has mastered the art of the hot selfie, and will probably take Best Rack from Olivia Day-Young.
Vivian: What would I do without you?
Claudia: I guess we’ll never find out.
Mr. Davies: Unless one of you young people fixed global warming, your summer vacations were boring and don’t matter.
Mitchell Wilson: I was helping this new freshman girl find her way to class, and she was deeply lost.
Mr. Davies: Chivalry might not be dead, but you will be if you’re late to my class again. Sit down.
Mitchell Wilson: So I shouldn’t help people?
Lucy: Can I help you?
Mitchell Wilson: I don’t know. Can you?
Mr. Davies: [referring The Great Gatsby] Well, Lucy, since you did the summer reading, I’m going to ask you the first question we apparently have to ask about every work of art now, no matter what it’s about, or what time period it was created. How are women portrayed?
Lucy: Well, I think the real question is, why are we still reading this book? It’s written by some rich white guy, about some rich white guy. And I guess we’re supposed to feel bad for him because he’s obsessed with the only girl he can’t have? I mean, if the point is to learn about the American dream, we should be reading about immigrants, or the working class, or Black mothers, or at least someone who doesn’t have a mansion.
Mitchell Wilson: People have read and have loved The Great Gatsby forever. I mean, there must be something that makes it so we read it every year at our own school.
Mr. Davies: Spoken like a true Nick Carraway. Do you know who Nick Carraway is? He was played by Tobey Maguire in the movie.
Lisa: Okay, first day of school. I know everything is lame and boring, but just tell me one thing.
Vivian: I don’t know, mom. I had math.
Lisa: What did you learn today? What kind of person were you? What made you smile? What were some of your biggest challenges?
Vivian: This conversation?
Lisa: You know, you used to be a little person who did what I said.
Vivian: I don’t remember any of that.
Lisa: You know, sometimes I think about the fact that Mitchell Wilson is going to breed, and his offspring will be tall, handsome a**holes, and it makes me very, very sad.
Vivian: You’re so dramatic, mom.
Vivian: Mom, milk is bad. People aren’t supposed to drink milk anymore.
Lisa: Whose child are you? You can’t take my milk away from me.
Vivian: Have you ever noticed that Seth Acosta is like nice to everyone?
Claudia: Seth the Shrimp?
Vivian: Oh, he’s not a shrimp anymore. He grew like a foot over the summer.
Claudia: Oh, my God. You want to bang Seth the Shrimp.
Vivian: Sure hope my first time isn’t banging.
Claudia: You love him. You want to have fifteen of his babies.
Lucy: [referring to Mitchell] He’s harassing me.
Principal Shelly: Ooh. There’s that word. If you use that word, that means I have to do a bunch of stuff. But if he’s bothering you, and that’s what it sounds like to me, then we can actually have a conversation. Lucy, I am aware that outside these walls the world is experiencing a tornado. And that, in response, young people, especially girls, are expressing their discontent about everything in every direction. But we have to be clear about things before we move forward.
Lucy: [referring to Mitchell] He’s dangerous.
Vivian: I don’t think he’s dangerous. I think he’s just annoying.
Lucy: You know that annoying can be more than just annoying, right? Like it can be code for worse stuff.
Vivian: If you keep your head down, he’ll move on and bother somebody else.
Lucy: Thanks for the advice. But I’m going to keep my head up, high.
Lisa: Traffic was horrible. I let three people merge, and not one wave. It’s a heartless town we live in.
Vivian: Hey, mom, what do sixteen year-olds care about?
Lisa: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, when I was sixteen, all I cared about was smashing the patriarchy, and burning it all down.
Vivian: Well, I can’t put that on my application.
Vivian: [finding her Lisa’s old leaflets] “Because we don’t want to assimilate to someone else’s voice, standards of what is or isn’t. Because I believe with my whole heart, mind, body that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can and will change the world for real.”
Mr. Davies: Grab a pom-pom. There you go. These are choking hazards, so wave carefully.
Principal Shelly: [referring to the cheer leaders] Love that. Those girls got moxie. In fact, this entire school’s got moxie, am I right? Let me hear it!
Claudia: [to Vivian] Moxie? What is she like a hundred years-old?
Claudia: Viv. They posted the list.
Vivian: You know that list is like pretty messed up if you think about it.
Claudia: Yeah, duh.
Vivian: Why have we all accepted it? Like no one even blinks.
Vivian: [referring to her Moxie zine] I need a s**tload of copies.
U-Copy Clerk: How many is that?
Lucy: [to Vivian, referring to the copy of Moxie] Oh, and thanks for giving me this. I really needed a sign from the universe that there were actual humans here.
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