“Tall Girl” Review: Pro and Con

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“Tall Girl” Review: Pro and Con

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

AMANDA TOUSSAINT (PRO) AND KARTHIK STEAD (CON), STAFF WRITERS

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Pro: The powerful message in the film

   Teen rom-com “Tall Girl,” directed by Nzingha Stewart, was released to Netflix on September 13. Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle) is a 16-year-old girl who is 6 ft 1 in and is bullied by everyone in her high school. Jodi’s two best friends (Anjelika Washington) Fareeda and Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) help Jodi realize she’s just like every other teenage girl.

   From the onset of the movie, Jodi is bullied by all of the kids in her high school. When an exchange student named Stig comes to the school from Sweden, Jodi’s life is flipped upside down when she falls in love. Jodi goes to her sister Harper for advice on getting Stig to notice her. 

   The movie “Tall Girl” is very inspirational. It helps young girls know that no matter how tall or short they are, just like every other girl in the world. “Tall Girl” also speaks out about bullying, which impacts 33% of teens a year.

   “I’m tall, really, really tall, and it’s the thing that’s haunted me my entire life,” Jodi said. “It’s defined me. But I think it’s time that I come up with a new definition.”

   Being tall doesn’t mean that you’re different than anyone else. You can define what tall means to you. 

   At the climax of the film, Jodi goes up to the stage during Homecoming and tells everyone in the room that she is more than just tall. This speech is the most valuable piece of the movie, as it defines the meaning of equality and friendship. 

   “Keep calling me names, keep asking me, how’s the weather up here–because the weather up here, it’s pretty great,” Jodi said.

   The story relates to the life of actress Ava Michelle, who plays Jodi. Michelle’s height has gotten in the way of her life. When she was a kid, she was kicked off of Dance Moms for being too tall.

   “I think it was one of the first times that I realized my height could get in the way of what I wanted to do,” Michelle said in an interview with Elite Daily.

   Teens and their parents should watch “Tall Girl” because of the powerful message Ava delivers in the movie. It’s a movie you will enjoy.

Con: A fixer-upper

   “Tall Girl” is a Netflix original movie that was released on September 13. The main character of Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle), who previously was kicked off the popular TV series “Dance Moms” for, you guessed it, being too tall.

   While the plot itself may be abysmal, there were some diamonds buried beneath the awful exterior, mainly the character of Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck), who should’ve been the main character.

   “Tall Girl” tells the story of Jodi, a high school junior who has always had struggles with her height, constantly being made fun of and never finding guys who are taller than her. Jodi has a best friend named Jack, who has made clear his feelings for Jodi. However Jodi does not reciprocate these feelings.

   One day, when a new foreign exchange student named Stig transfers to her school, Jodi instantly falls for him because he is taller than her. However, Kimmy, a girl who has bullied Jodi for most of her life, starts dating Stig, making Jodi jealous.

   After a convenient turn of events, Jodi and Stig bond over their shared love of musicals and piano. However, when Stig stands Jodi up for a date, Jack stands up to him and ends up with a black eye. Jodi finds out what happened at the party and decides to start dating Jack.

   Jack has stuck with Jodi since he met her. There is a flashback scene that is meant to convey how long people have made fun of Jodi for her height, but in the scene every time, Jack is by her side. Fans of the movie may argue that Jack is only doing this because he has feelings for her. However, Jodi has always rejected him but he continues to stand by her.

   During his time in the US, Stig ends up staying with Jack. This is meant to provide for some dramatic irony, however it would be interesting to see Jack’s interactions with Stig as his personality becomes increasingly worse. Perhaps having a series of scenes that show Stig’s progression from nice foreign exchange student to a bad person would be interesting to see.

   After Stig stands her up at a date and openly brags about doing so, Jack stands up for Jodi by calling out Stig for his actions. Jack ends up getting a black eye, and instead of telling the real story of what happened to Jodi, which would most definitely win Jodi’s affections, he decides to make an excuse because he wants to win Jodi’s heart in the right way. The only reason Jodi finds out is because someone shows her the video of what happened and she finally accepts him for who he is.

   For one last minor point, Jack carried his school stuff in a box for years, so if he ever needed to kiss Jodi he would be the same height as her, showing that Jack is dedicated on his quest for love.

   Ironically, “Tall Girl” seems to fall a bit short. Being the director Nzhinga Stewart’s first film that was not made for TV, I truly hope she can improve in the future.

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