Sunday evening, I watched Moxie while my kids watched The Little Mermaid for the gazillionth time. The movie started well, was predictable, had good acting and by the time it was done, I was disturbed.
The premise of the story is great, so why doesn’t the movie deliver?
This question has been in my head for hours now. I doubt I will have startling clarity so here goes. A lot of the casting felt like tokenism. You have the fantastic characters who could have been fleshed out to make them real, yet, the movie stops short, making them flat cardboard cutouts.
When the African American girls at the end talk about their hair, you want to feel the emotion, yet, you don’t.
I think for me, I would have loved to see discomfort. Discomfort in a visceral way when the jock character spits into Lucy’s drink. I wanted to see a lack of trust when Vivian reaches out to Lucy for the first time. I want to see the group of black and brown girls be wary of well meaning white girls talking about feminism and girl power instead of embracing it all at once.
In the real world, there is distrust, there is fear, there is disgust, there is emotion.
The reel world falls way too short on the emotions.
Despite it all, this is a movie I would love to hear about from the teens and tweens I know. What did they feel? Did the movie resonate with them? Was it off the mark? What worked? What did not?