The premise of MOXIE visits a worn-out narrative – that high school boys are horrible monsters and high school girls are long-suffering, angelic saints. Hadley Robinson plays Vivian, entering her junior year in high school, who is upset about what appears to be an annual rite where all the girls in the school are rated in various categories (“Hottest Ass”, etc.) Then, Vivian conveniently discovers a suitcase filled with memorabilia from her Mom’s rebellious teen years. Inspired, Vivian creates Moxie, an anonymous GRRLL power magazine and female manifesto that is an instant hit with all girls at the school, immediately uniting them against the bad boys, and shredding the last remnants of my suspension of disbelief. There are no MEAN GIRLS in sight, and BOOKSMART was, well, smarter. Director Amy Poehler does a fine job directing but with little at stake, and poor Marcia Gay Harden saddled with a one-note role as the clueless principal, the screenplay by Tamara Chestna is both flaccid and lazy. I understand who is the target demographic for this movie, and having just cited two much better movies in the genre than this one, I believe that high schoolers are just as story-savvy as adults – perhaps even more so.

Screening on NETFLIX, even the skilled direction from Amy Poehler and the fine performances from the talented young cast cannot save MOXIE from its hackneyed script.

Want a second opinion? Check out Esta’s review

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David Freedman is the producer of all four Critics Choice Awards, a founding member of Moviefone, and a Platform and Springboard Diver

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