Moxie is based on the best selling novel by Jennifer Mathieu of the same name. The film rivets around an annoyed teenage girl who starts a revolutionary feminist zine Moxie, denouncing the sexist and misogynistic attitude of boys and the rest of the school administration.
Moxie revolves around 16-year old Vivian (Hadley Robinson), who at the beginning of the movie is introduced as a complete introvert. She has always been living her invisible life along with her equally introverted best friend Claudia (Lauren Tsai).
Vivian’s conforming lifestyle gets challenged when new girl Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Pena) dares to challenge The Great Gatsby outdated and revolutionary ideas. Lucy refuses to do this and decides to keep her head high.
Soon, the annual list made by the school’s cool kids is published which gives each school girl a title, each extremely misogynistic, sexually abusive, derogatory, racist and body-shamed most of the girls. This makes Vivian furious.
Meanwhile, the “Best School Principal”, Marlene Shelly (Marcia Gay Harden), turns a blind eye to this flourishing misogynistic culture and plays the role of a key contributor in it. Infuriated, Vivian gets inspired and follows the footsteps of her mother, Lisa’s (Poehler), activist past as a riot grrrl.
She anonymously creates a feminist zine ‘Moxie’. Also, Vivian starts dating Seth (Nico Hiraga), who is completely supportive and resonates with the feminist ideology.
Soon, a new wave of revolution arise at Rockport High, the journey gets groovy for the Moxie girls as they stand against the internalised institution of misogynistic patriarchy.
Moxie ending explained in detail:
‘The Anonymous’ note found in the girls’ washroom
Vivian feels defeated after Kiera Pascal (Sydney Park) does not become Student Athlete Ambassador. Angered, Vivian in her next issue of Moxie lashes out on principle Shelly. As a result, Claudia gets suspended which further upsets Vivian. This strains their relationship because Vivian did not step up as the curator of Moxie.
At the family dinner, Vivian directs her anger at her mother, her mother’s new boyfriend, John (Robert Clark Gregg) and at Seth. She rudely interrogates John about what makes him proud of being an American when ideally America is 300 years away from reaching gender equality. Seth attempts to calm her down, instead, she gets enraged further.
Seth is unable to process this anger. He refuses to talk to Vivian at school and calls her out for being reckless and not taking responsibility for her actions.
Upset, Vivian goes to the washroom and finds an anonymous note from a girl revealing that she was raped a year ago but didn’t raise her voice fearing humiliation. This makes Vivian introspect about what her course of action should be to render support to the rape victim.
With a new sense of purpose, she goes back to school at night and writes “Rapeport” at the main entrance with red paint and smashes the “Best Principal Award” of principal Shelly which she earlier stole from the principals. She immediately posts the picture on Moxie’s Instagram handle and announced a Walk Out protest the next day at school.
Vivian makes the big revelation
Just before the protest, Mr. Davies (Isaac Barinholtz) reads out the school policy saying anyone showing support for the Moxie group will be expelled from the school, but secretly, Mr. Davies shows support by showing marker drawings of stars and hearts. This encourages the Moxie supporters and at the attendance bell students storm out of their classes, exhibiting solidarity.
At the Walk Out protest, Vivian sheds off her introvert personality and reveals that she is the creator of the Moxie zine and gives due acknowledgement to all the girls who made this revolution possible. She goes on criticising the unfair practices of the school administration encouraging sexist and misogynistic attitude among boys, suspending the dissenters.
One by one, girls stand and take credit for their action in making this revolution possible. Encouraged by this aura of united feminist air, Emma Cunningham (Josephine Langford) steps up and reveals that she was the one who wrote the note and reveals that Mitchell raped her last year after prom.
The moment of reconciliation
After listening to Vivian’s overwhelming speech online, Claudia, who was suspended, can’t stop herself from going to school. Vivian’s mother takes Claudia to school to meet and make things up with her best friend Vivian, who is elated to see her best friend and they both share a warm hug.
Vivian is happy to see her mother and thanks her for kindling her spirit and inspiring her. Lisa thanks her in return because she, herself, was inspired by her daughter’s actions.
While everyone is coming forward to share their experiences of harassment, sexism, and racism, Seth and Vivian’s eyes meet and Vivian apologises for her behaviour from distance and Seth shows her his arm with ‘Vivian’ written on it, signifying that he has forgiven her.