Teen Rebels (Movie Thoughts: Moxie)

Amy Poehler stars and directs ‘Moxie’ so I was excited for it, and had high hopes. I guess Netflix released this right after she and Tina Fey has just finished their stint hosting The Golden Globe Awards. And it is a very earnest effort from her – she has assembled a nice appealing young cast about a high school faced with racial inequality. I have heard some people compare this to ‘Mean Girls,’ and I kind of get that it has a similar vibe. This has a more rocker girl punk feel, wherein a teen, Vivian starts a fanzine addressing the inequalities in the high school system. The result? It’s a mostly funny affair, with some social relevance thrown in. It succeeds more as a teen comedy, also because it is more believable there. When it tries to cover more ‘serious’ issues, it kind of falls flat.

But you believe a lot of it, though. Hadley Robinson, who plays Vivian is appealing even though the villains are cardboard characters. You will feel a lot of the heart, though, and will probably feel that more. ‘Moxie’ is imperfect, but it passes time perfectly.

Sunglasses At Night (Movie Thoughts: Midnight Sun)

large_large_cEd3PYAEkRbuAr9SgTC8l6znac‘Midnight Sun’ is your latest in the line of teen romance/tearjerkers along the vein of ‘A Walk In The Woods,’ and ‘The Fault In Our Stars,’ and I don’t know if that is a spoiler of sorts for you.  It is a love story between two young people, and the conflict stems from the young girl, Katie (Bella Thorne) having the rare disease XP (Xeroderma Pigmentosum) which is a skin disease that makes sun exposure dangerous for her. So, she only come out at night. When she meets Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger) her childhood crush, she years to take a stab at love, but …and you can kind of tell how this ends up… with tears.

The film has been getting pounded by critics, and I wasn’t expecting it to be great. But, I was thoroughly in it. I believed. I think Thorne here is amazingly sweet and vulnerable, and had just the right pathos for her character. Schwarzenegger was okay, too, but you can kind of see his limitations. But he looks so fine, at the prime of his youthful looks, that most times, it really did not matter – and this has more to do with me than anything else. I think the two had good chemistry, but the film is very chaste so that didn’t really have a chance to combust as it should. The film kind of goes haywire in the last part, where a lot did not really make sense, but probably that was because director Scott Spears was intent on giving viewers that ending. And yeah, I’ll admit to having a small bite sized lump in my throat then. So, it’s all good. I didn’t feel like this was a waste of my time or energy. And perhaps you will feel the same way as well.