Netflix’s ‘Moxie’ Promises Woke on Steroids Storytelling

Hollywood’s woke revolution can sneak up on you.

Otherwise mainstream movies and TV shows can take sudden social justice detours. It might be a quick lecture or exchange to show the creative team won’t waste the chance to send a hard-left message.

“Moxie” offers another approach.

The March 3 Netflix film, co-starring and directed by Amy Poehler, puts the woke right up front.

Here’s Netflix’s official synopsis: 

Vivian (Hadley Robinson), a seemingly shy 16-year-old, has always preferred to keep her head down and fly under the radar. But when the arrival of a new student (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 (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. Now at the center of a revolution, Vivian begins to forge new friendships with other young women and allies, reaching across the divide of cliques and clubs as they learn to navigate the highs and lows of high school together.

Or, as the trailer says, “Get Ready … to Woke Up.”

Even the hashtags accompanying the film’s press release scream social justice.


Based on the 2017 novel by Jennifer Mathieu, “Moxie” may have to update the source material given how quickly woke rules evolve. Heck, it might be problematic that a cis-gender white female, Poehler, is such a prominent player in the project.

Chances are the woke crowd will find something to complain about the movie, no matter its entertainment value.

Will it crack Netflix’s vaunted Top 10 list upon its release? The film’s trailer is generating quick interest, racking up 70K views in its first few hours of release.

Social justice films have a checkered track record, though. Movies like “Booksmart” and “Charlie’s Angels” flopped hard in theaters. The latter pushed far-left themes in the film as well as the promotional push.

The Hulu series “Woke” earned a second season late last year, but the streamer generally doesn’t release hard viewing figures in the classic Nielsen mold, much like rivals like Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Going woke didn’t help “Wonder Woman 1984,” which dramatically under-performed at the global box office even considering pandemic restrictions.

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