From what I've heard this Netflix movie is based on some young adult book and it seems there's a lot of those z-grade writers and the books all seem to have the same tropes at times as well as plot holes. Stuff like the blank slate main character, love triangles, fight the system because it's against you, don't get an adult involved in things, take matters into your own hands and end up potentially hospitalized, that some or most of the adults are dumb and don't listen to them, and that to go to the red flags in life message.
What just bothers me with these tropes isn't that they're repetitive but more the execution of them at times. Since they're targeted to people that are still developing themselves, trying to mature, both mentally and physically. It's just that when writing these you need to at least have the characters use critical thinking, as well as problems solving skills, and not just act out constantly all the time. I also wanted to give this a watch since Amy Poler is in this and helped make it but she's not in it very much, sadly.
This story is about this self-insert girl in this High School where this evil, white, racist, rich guy jock that's rewarded even though he's an okay football player. Then this black, bisexual, Latina, girl character that's a strong feminist being upset that the summer reading was about The Great Gatsby because it was about a rich white man writing about a rich white man who is upset they can't have a woman.
She talks about how we need to talk about literature from immigrants, single mothers, and other foreigners. Since their stories are more important than The Great Gatsby, sadly, all of it's mostly written in English, even though they're in American Literature. Then the male white football jock mentions and mansplains to her that The Great Gatsby is a classic and hopes for it to be read in school more. Though he doesn't explain why since the book was about how having all these parties and money doesn't make you happy and it will end up all "Crashing down" one day. When he's more upset that she's at the front desk of the class as a way to enforce that whole racism vibe.
After that, the black, Latina, feminist tries to get a drink and the white jock spits in it and gives it to her. She tells the office about what happens and that he's harassing her, it comes off as that whole "There's all this bad stuff going on and there's nothing you can do." When the principal talks with her, which always ends up just gaslighting these kids in the end. Making them think the only way to stop this stuff is to act out or cause violence since they weren't getting an answer from them, which is just cowardly, sad, and a way to indoctrinate the kids and use them as human shields in the end. Since she's the principal and can stop all of this in the end especially with the new kid in school.
Then the female self-insert character is angry about how the jock guy is doing all of this and after he texts every student a list about all the girls based on their looks and nothing else. Then the insert girl creates the fanzine or newsletter called Moxie to call for activism by drawing hearts and stars on their hands to show solidarity against the patriarchy. Though it comes off that if the list was about the guys on nothing but their looks instead of the girls it would be okay since it's only sexist if it happens to women. This is a bit sad and there's even this one South Park episode and clip that shows how at the end that was just a stupid list and I might link it at the end of this review. It ends up attracting all the token women that are "this or that" since one of the girls wins every soccer game even though the football jock who is okay wins the scholarship every year and there's also this Asian guy who ends up being a male feminist at the end of this movie since he's impressed with the self-insert, though I've heard male feminists can turn into creepers, in the end, is all.
Then there's this next crackdown of the patriarchy with the dress code women have since one of these girls that are wearing a tank top and has bigger boobs than the other girls. Ike Barinholtz is also in this scene and makes me wish for Mad TV to come back to entertain everyone and not be afraid to be edgy and have something solid in the end at times. The girl then mentions that the other girl near her is wearing the same thing enough though she doesn't have as big of boobs as her and it turns into some argument about how to control women as well as some girls having smartphones to record this sexism as well even if it isn't, probably. Then all the girls wear tank tops as an act of defiance to get back at the patriarchy, somehow?
After that, they get back at the okay white male jock for always getting this scholarship even though he's just okay in the end and the football team keeps losing. Even though the soccer players are really good but this movie makes it seem this movie makes it sound like no one cares about women's accomplishments because of them being girls but they aren't true at all. Then they protest so the amazing soccer girl gets the scholarship even though she's a junior and okay white jock is a senior and scholarships are given to seniors, but I guess that doesn't matter. Though okay white jock gets back at them by explaining at the school these girls are just using anonymous bullying and no one tolerates that, which comes off more intelligent in the end and works. When that happens it would seem it was going to be this thing with the girls where you can't always win every battle in the end.
Then the self insert mouths off and tears down her mom's boyfriend, something about America won't be gender-equal for 130 years, something Melinda Gates said that was later debunked. It just comes off mean since the self-insert is yelling at the guy who played Phil Coulson from Marvel's Avengers movie. That guy united the Avengers, was killed, and became an android, or a Life Model Decoy SHEILD uses as body doubles on and off. Though if you think that's bad wait until you read this Marvel event comic, Heroes Reborn (2021), which destroys him probably because the writers in marvel comics now don't like or hate straight white men.
Then at the end, some girl at the end says that the okay white jock raped her though she probably lied about that since when that college girl from Duke lied about being gang-raped by the la cross the team in a Rolling Stone article, it feels like nothing is scared now anymore. Then the self-insert has this speech about believing in women, then the okay white jock gets expelled though from what I've heard today in school your suspended but never expelled, almost like you were rewarded in the end, and then the amazing soccer girl gets the scholarship. Even though that girl that said the okay white jock raped her was probably just an allegation in the end and all.
I know some women might go "You should check your privilege" though I'd like them to check their privilege first and then I'll check mine, Quid pro quo and all. Also, I didn't like this book not because it had a woman lead character, it's that it should be a well-written character that happens to be a woman. I even didn't like all those patterns and tropes more because of their execution in all of these young adult books. Even this activism, in the end, today at times can come off as a way to bully people into believing in their side and get away with, or as an excuse not to do any work at times. You can still give it a watch if you want to though what I don't like about this woke stuff is that the execution is so forced in the end it's just very sad and turns into a one-sided argument.
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