“I love all 73 inches of myself”Review by Lewis Goodall
There are countries at war. Thousands of kids die a year because of these wars. Kids all around the globe get bone marrow cancer and may not see their tenth birthday. Kids are shot in the safety of their school. Let’s be real for a minute, all these things are pretty bad, they’re an inconvenience for these kids at most. What is truly horrible though, something that makes me sick to the core when I think about it, to think that there are kids out there that have to wear size 13 shoes….. mens size 13 shoes. Netflix’s new original high school drama ‘Tall Girl’, highlights this issue to all those more privileged kids out there who don’t have to deal with this. It makes them look at their chemotherapy schedule and think “hey, maybe I haven’t got it so bad”.
Tall Girl tells the story of the unfortunate Jodi (Ava Michelle), a 6 foot 1 high school student who battles the constant ‘hows the weather up there’ comments by the more normal sized bullies. She has 2 friends at least, we have Jack (Griffin Gluck), a semi likeable goof who is madly in love with Jodi and has a 7 year plan to steal her heart, then we have Freeda (Anjelika Washington), a friend who’s hardly in the film apart to add a bit of drama when we see Jodi falling apart. Life is pretty standard for Jodi, she tries as hard as she can considering the situation with her height, but her world gets turned upside down when Stig (Luke Eisner) arrives, a Swedish foreign exchange student who is equally as tall. Jodi’s heart draws her to his height and terrible accent but she must remember where she comes from in this pursuit of love
There is just too much to talk about with this film, all aspects bad apart from maybe 2 seconds that I actually found funny in a place where it was meant to be funny. Let’s start with the message of this film, the obvious message her being that it’s okay to be yourself and to embrace who you are which is a good message and actually a message a lot of kids these days should remember. This film just takes that message a presents it in just THE worst way, its as though people at Netflix HQ had a meeting, they got a brainstorm for this film and took all the bad ideas and went with that. It was laughable how bad everything is, from the writing to the acting, it was all just way too funny but in the worst way. Everything that was in there to try and make me laugh didn’t, the rest of the time where there wasn’t a hideous ‘punchline’, was what had me laughing.
The relationship between Jodi and Stig is an odd one. He’s this good looking Swedish foreign exchange student with lovely flowing locks and shes a grumpy dump. Stig is by far the most entertaining character purely due to the fact that I’m pretty sure this very obvious American actor was told to do a Swedish accent but has never heard one before. If it wasn’t for the fact that he mentions he’s from Sweden and the way he goes ‘yah’ after every sentence, I would’ve just thought he was a bit deaf. Stig finds himself dating the most popular girl in school, this disappoints Jodi as she wanted a taste of Swedish delicacy but then they share moment when Jodi discovers Stig playing the piano. Jodi plays also and they commence to have one of the cringest duets I have ever witnessed in life ever. I don’t usually cringe, if anything I enjoy watching cringey stuff but this was painful, it hurt watching them sing.
This then leads to Stig having a bit of a crush on Jodi. Events unfold from there and the tension thickens like a pot of gravy left out on the side. There is a vicious love circle containing 5+ people when they all get with people just to get the person they like jealous. It’s all one big cringey gang bang (not literally) that just includes the laziest writing I have ever witnessed. It’s all horrendously predictable from the get go, I think a 6 year old will be able to guess the plot of the film and how it end purely from the trailer. Along with this plot there are just so many tiny details that are laughable. One notable details comes just after Jodi and Stig kiss for the first time, they peck on a bus and that’s it, nothing more than a juvenile peck. Later on in the film, Stig is talking to Jack about the kiss and tells about how passionate it was and how it made him fall for her more even though it was the most uncomfortable kiss ever. There’s that moment and another one where Jodi’s sister is just randomly practising knife throwing in a public area . Just a lot of things like that to accumulate to one long mess of a film with a conclusion that made me shudder with how cringey it was.
The prize is in those small details because as I mentioned, the overall plot is Incredibly predictable, its definitely one of those cookie cutter movies where everything is picked with the least amount of effort in order to get the film out as soon as possible without anyone thinking about bothering to make a good film. It’s just laughable the whole way through so honestly I should give this 2 different scores, one for it as a film and another for entertainment value because I certainly found it watchable but purely to the fact to see how awful the film could take itself.
All aspects of this film are piss poor, I don’t think there is one redeeming feature to the film itself apart from I guess getting the wrong type of entertainment from it, I guess actually I mentioned that 2 seconds at the beginning so might as well say what that was. Jodi’s sister, Harper, is in a beauty pageant and she is talking about hotel guests being treated well and how they should implement that style of management to the ongoing war in the middle east, then afterwards in the car journey home she randomly breaks an awkward silence with a random outburst, both moments made me slightly smile but other than that… nothing. It’s something that should be ripped out of the Netflix’s server and burned up so that no one is subject to this film. It’s the sort of film that makes me angry because I just don’t understand how something with minimal thought gets made into a film? It makes me think about how I want to write screenplays but why bother writing an in-depth story line with complex characters and creative narrative when I can just write about a sad teenager with big feet.