Tall girl fails to stand tall

Tara Wyatt, Reporter

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Tall Girl is a new Netflix Original rom-com about a six-foot-one (and a half folks) teen named Jodi Kreyman (Ava Mitchell), who struggles to face her insecurities of being tall while getting put in a love triangle. This film attempts to show teens that they should love every “inch of themselves” and to “stand tall” by understanding the most “oppressed” group of people in this day in age: a tall girl. 

Telling people to be confident is not a bad thing. It’s great that they’re trying to put that message out there.

Unfortunately, they do it in a way where it’s slightly humiliating. As the film continues, nobody can help but ask themselves… “Why does this movie exist?” Or, “Who thought this was a good idea?” and “Can this be over already?”

As viewers watch the film, it starts to seem like watching a girl throwing herself an actual pity party on screen. Of course, the movie is going to show the audience her struggles to figure things out throughout the movie, but the creators do an awful job of making us understand that her struggles are real. She constantly lets things get to her despite having many love interests throughout the movie. Her family isn’t normal, but her parents (Steve Zahn and Angela Kinsey) and her beauty queen older sister, Harper Kreyman, (played by Sabrina Carpenter) are there to help her transform into a better version of herself. She has her two best friends, Fareeda (Anjelika Washington) and Jack (Griffin Gluck), constantly letting her know she’s good enough. 

The main character, Jodi, is an average – not like other girls – character that is shown in every other rom-com Netflix original movie. She’s awkward, doesn’t like makeup, and likes musicals, which is fine to like or be like, but the writers do a bad job of embracing those traits. They don’t try to make it different. The movie doesn’t try to make the awkward situations she finds herself fun. Throughout it all, we don’t see much of a personality from her. She constantly throws herself a pity party. 

The film’s love triangle consists of Jodi, her long-time friend Jack, and the Swedish exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner). The movie fails to make any audience stay on their toes despite the fact there’s a love triangle happening. It was obvious from the beginning who was going to end up with who. 

 

(Spoiler Alerts) 

 

She ends up with her long-time friend Jack. It would have been fine if she ended up with him if they built their relationship better. The movie spent so much time with Stig and Jodi bonding. They didn’t even attempt to show everyone that Jack and Jodi would be a good match. It’s as if the writers expected the audience to cheer them on because best friends to lovers is a popular trope. 

In fact, their relationship was very one-sided. They attempted to redeem him at the end, but it was too late.

He wasn’t even a good friend, to begin with. He was constantly pressuring Jodi to be with him after saying she wanted to be friends. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he didn’t manipulate Stig or ruin Jodi’s chance at being with her first crush. Normally, tropes of a friend being open about wanting to be in a relationship isn’t bad because the friend values their crushes happiness more than theirs. The writers don’t seem to understand that. Plus, we don’t know what they do to even see that they may be compatible. Out of the whole movie, they only had one real moment together, but by that time they showed us the “wholesome” scene, no one cares about the movie. 

 

(Spoilers End)

 

Stig, on the other hand, is probably the most interesting character. He was never a popular kid because he was too short at his old school – though, he is 6’2 – but he finds himself becoming the most popular guy at this school. Since he’s always wanted to be a popular guy, he struggles to figure out how to maintain his new image while trying to be himself and include Jodi in his life. He starts to like Jodi after talking and playing the piano together once, even though he just started going out with the popular girl. He makes mistakes along the way, but he does this because he is scared to lose his image so soon. 

The real “threat” in this movie is by the popular girl Kimmy Stitcher (Clara Wisley). She is constantly out to get her if she thinks Jodi is trying to get in her way. The reason for that is because she’s tall and ugly. Everything this character does is not any different from other mean girl tropes in rom-coms. You can’t take anything she says seriously because no one would say those things in real life. It’s simply unrealistic. The “Taylor Swift? More like Taller Swift” insult was dumb on the writer’s part considering that Taylor Swift is 5 ’10.

As for Jodi’s family life, her mother and sister are a tiny bit crazy. Harper was certainly an unusual character. She had forced lines that made the viewers cringe. She overreacted to the point where it got annoying. Carpenter does a good job of making her character stand out. A fun moment of hers was when Kimmy attempted to hug Harper and she dipped right down to the floor.

Jodi’s parents were always there for her. Her mom let her daughter get whatever she wanted that made her happy like a new outfit and makeup.  Even though the movie has its flaws, Zahn (the actor for Jodi’s dad) does an incredible job making you feel his pain. All he’s trying to do is make his daughter knows she has a special place in this world. Even though she didn’t appreciate some of the shenanigans he does for her, one can’t help but feel bad for him. Yes, he overreacts that she’s tall, but, he still cares for her.

The cinematography is odd. Most of the time, they intentionally put the camera on the far side of her face/body to make her look more like she’s filling up space. Though, they didn’t do well because everything around her was full of space. For example, her house is spaced out and huge. She doesn’t live in a tiny house where she has to duck constantly to get anywhere in her house.

Overall, the movie makes viewers irritated, confused or both. It could have been great if they didn’t try to take themselves so seriously. In the end, the creators of the movie do the actors and actresses wrong.