Tall Girl (2019)

Tall Girl
Director: Nzingha Stewart
Writer: Sam Wolfson
Cast: Ava Michelle, Griffin Gluck, Sabrina Carpenter, Anjelika Washington, Rico Paris, Paris Berelc, Luke Eisner, Clara Wilsey, Angela Kinsey, Steve Zahn
Seen on: 13.10.2019

Jodi (Ava Michelle) has always tried to keep her head down – literally: As the tallest girl in her entire school, she doesn’t feel like she fits in, and boys usually run from her, unlike her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter). But that changes when Jodi’s best friend Jack (Griffin Gluck) houses a Swedish exchange student, Stig (Luke Eisner). Stig is gorgeous, interested in Jodi – and tall, taller than she is, even. Boosted by Stig’s interest, Jodi decides that it’s time to claim her size.

Tall Girl is a film so entrenched in faux-feminism and faux-progressiveness, it becomes pretty unbearable.

The film poster showing Jodi (Ava Michelle) surrounded by all her school friends, taller than everybody else.

Look, there is totally an issue we have as a society with tall women – when they are dating shorter men. People will look and certainly aren’t used to the looks of that. I’m not saying that isn’t the case. But the way the film makes Jodi the most oppressed person, basically, is incredibly weird and offensive to actually marginalized groups. Tall, blond, thin, pretty white women are not the demographic we need to worry about when it comes to dating.

And while I do like friends-to-lovers romances, the version we get served here is a creepy rendition of “if you just wait long enough in the friendzone, she will come to her senses and see you and fall in love with you and not the pretty asshole” entitlement that really did not sit right with me.

Jodi (Ava Michelle) and her best friend Jack (Griffin Gluck).

So, Tall Girl might think that it is serving us something completely different with the chosen romantic lead, and it might think that it is sending out a feminist message of “being yourself” (I don’t know if they actually did it, but I can see the film claiming to be part of the body positivism movement and I have to cringe just at the thought).

But really it just rehashes old and pretty tired tropes – down to the “sassy Black friend” in Fareeda (Anjelika Washington). This is all a little too much to make it charming, to make it work. This one is better skipped.

Jodi (Ava Michelle) hiding in the bathroom with a book.

Summarizing: save yourself the time.

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