The Amy Poehler-directed movie, Moxie, is a fun yet thought-provoking film that focuses on the rampant sexism prevalent in high school. The film focuses on the small ways in which the status quo is built and pushed in high school, from the students to the teachers, the accumulation of which has inevitably led to a culture in which people are not even called out or punished for their bad behavior.
Moxie is an exemplary example of how a bunch of teenagers come together to change this. The cast includes Amy Poehler, Hadley Robinson, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Lauren Tsai, Nico Hiraga, Issac Barinholtz, and more. Here are some of the best characters from the movie that made those in the audience sit up and take notice.
10 U-Copy Clerk
This nice old man helps Vivian make copies of Moxie! – the zine she created. She is a girl with a plan, and she needs his help to make a lot of copies to circulate amongst the girls in her school.
In an adorable moment from the movie, she Instagrams the clerk holding a copy of the zine and he shouts words of encouragement at her while she is on her mission.
9 Mr. Davies
Their English teacher, Mr. Davies, was initially very unreluctant to even engage with what Lucy was trying to say. He was teaching The Great Gatsby and went by the standard line of thought that the student, Mitchell, espoused. Mitchell kept talking over Lucy and Mr. Davies didn’t do anything about it, nor did he try to get involved when Kaitlynn was being questioned over her clothing.
But he eventually redeems himself somewhat when he supports the student walkout by drawing hearts and stars on his palms.
Amy Poehler plays Lisa, Vivian’s mother in the movie. This laid-back working mother was a hardcore rebel in her youth and inspires Vivian to use her voice as well. While Lisa is not in the movie as much as the teens, her actions and thoughts mean a lot to Vivian, who holds her on a pedestal until they have a falling out.
As a single mom, her support of Vivian matters a lot to her, and though Vivian’s struggles at school strains their relationship, she cares about what’s going on with her and always makes time for heart-to-heart talks with her.
Kiera is the captain of the girls’ soccer team at school and is largely underappreciated, even though her team keeps winning. In spite of her record on the field, it is always Mitchell and the boys’ football team that is celebrated, even when they lose by big margins.
Kiera is eventually nominated by Lucy for the sports scholarship offered by their school, for which the Moxie! group campaigns.
Emma is the incredibly popular girl who gets continuously attacked by her male peers by putting her on “the list” and she continuously seems to want to interact with the Moxie! group. She tries multiple times, but she finally ends up writing a letter addressed to the group.
Emma is extremely strong because she came forward to call out the sports “hero” of their school and inevitably ensured that the administration had to take some serious action.
Claudia and Vivian are best friends and call themselves “introverts.” They’re quite involved in each other’s lives until Vivian starts hanging out more with Lucy and the Moxie! crew. While hesitant to actively participate in things that might upset her family, she eventually braves it and joins the group.
Even though she wants to be a more active participant, the pressure to succeed that her mom puts on her makes it impossible for her to engage in any of the Moxie! activities, that is until she decides that she will just do what she wants, and so she turns up at the school for the walkout.
The lead of the movie is a quiet girl who thinks it’s best to keep her head down and mind her own business. But all this changes when she becomes friends with Lucy, who helps her realize that the way things are, isn’t necessarily the way things should be.
Inspired by her mother, as well, she starts Moxie! and essentially sets the motion into action. She comes out of her shell and rallies her peers to make sure that the sexist and misogynistic behavior of some of her classmates and the administration doesn’t go unnoticed.
Kaitlynn gets called out by her school principal for her “improper” attire and was asked to cover herself up (and eventually sent home). She rightly points out that there are other girls wearing similar clothes who weren’t picked on simply because their body type was different. She also mentions the fact that Mitchell walks around half-naked most of the time with no repercussions whatsoever.
The administration’s stance on the issue legitimized the way in which her male peers attacked her by putting her on “the list.” But when the Moxie! group decides to support her by all wearing tank tops the next day, she’s comforted in the knowledge of the support she has and speaks out against the double standards that exist.
This cute and nice boy plays the perfect ally by supporting all of the Moxie! ventures and being a cool supportive friend, at first, and boyfriend, later, to Vivian. He knows that Vivian is the one making Moxie! but never outs her in front of anyone.
He’s kind, respectful, and very mindful of engaging with everyone, including Vivian, with the dignity they absolutely need and deserve.
Lucy refuses to keep her head down and respects herself enough to know that she must keep her head high all the time. She refuses to give in to Mitchell’s harassment and tries to complain to the authorities about it.
While her complaint is not taken seriously, she very persistently calls out the sexist nature of “the list” and literally begins the revolution that leads to Moxie!
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