Photo Credit: Hope Joffray/ Achona Online
On September 13, 2019 Netflix released “Tall Girl”, the story of a teenage girl (Jodi) who’s self-conscious about her height, 6-foot-1, which is something she had been teased for her entire life. The movie includes her journey to find love and, ultimately, self-acceptance. When the trailer was released, the film received mixed reviews. Many viewers labeled the movie as another one of Netflix’s teen “rom-com” movies due to the typical “hot guy” and dorky best friend in competition for the lead protagonist.
Izzy Krawetz (‘20) says, “If you’re in the mood to cringe, the movie is good for that. I would say it’s better than “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” but not as good as “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” It was very predictable and incredibly similar to other teen based movies Netflix has released.”
The movie portrays Jodi’s height as a turnoff for guys who are shorter than her, so when a tall, Swedish exchange student (Stig) shows up at her school, she falls head over heels for him. Similar to many other teen romance movies, Jodi has to compete with the “mean girl” for the new exchange student’s attention.
Dorothy Pickard (‘20) says “As a taller girl myself, it is weird when I am taller than some guys and it makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say being tall should be a turnoff for guys, but often times it seems to be a factor. For me personally, I feel more comfortable with a taller guy.”
The film also received comical backlash for it’s melodramatic and clichéd essence. Since the film was meant to be light-hearted, the problems faced in the story can’t directly relate to more severe problems faced in the world today. Many people responded to the events of the movie in a joking manner, pointing out the simplicity of the complications faced.
Colleen Buckhorn (‘23) says “As I tried watching the movie, I couldn’t get myself to finish it. It was not very creative on Netflix’s part. It also wasn’t very relatable because the problems she faced weren’t as severe as the many problems faced today.”
I'm watching Tall Girl and it's so ridiculous. She says "you don't know how hard it is to be me" and then goes home to her two parents in their multi-story house to eat a 3 course meal
— Sloth Loves Chunk (@wizardgaz) September 14, 2019
The main character of the movie, Jodi, is played by Ava Michelle, former “Dance Moms” star and contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Michelle dealt with hate against her height directly from Abby Lee Miller, dance instructor and studio owner on the reality TV show “Dance Moms.” While Ava was on the show, clips were included of Abby Lee specifically criticizing her for being tall, which was ultimately the reason why she was kicked off the team. Miller flat out says “Ava, you’re too tall for us today,” then proceeds to kick her off the team as a whole.
Rachael Petrarca (‘21) says, “I realized the main character was from Dance Moms after I saw the movie. I saw a bunch of memes on Twitter relating back to the time Abby Lee Miller kicked her off the team because she was too tall. I saw it as a funny coincidence.”
The movie “Tall Girl” is just another one of Netflix’s teen “rom-coms” with a lack in creativity and the inclusion of narrow-minded teens with insignificant problems relating to the real world. Receiving 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film did not receive the best reviews.
Hopefully, in the future Netflix can produce a more progressive and creative teen “rom-com” compared to the incredibly similar ones they have been releasing in the past.