Tall Girl falls short on the charts


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The Netflix film Tall Girl is spearheaded by six foot newcomer actress Ava Michelle.

By Jordyn Green, Online Editor-in-Chief

She’s smart, kind, pretty, blonde, a talented pianist and popular with two best friends. Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle), the main character in “Tall Girl”, appears to have it all. However, she does quite literally have one thing over the rest of the characters of the 2019 Netflix film: about a foot. 

Surrounding a teenager’s trials and tribulations of being taller than her peers, Tall Girl dramatizes the hardships of being about six feet tall. Peers make fun of her; romantic interests avoid her; she feels as though she does everything in her power to be invisible, but that never ends up being the case. Jodi wants to spend her entire high school career under the radar, but this plan goes awry when she sets her sights on equally-as-tall foreign exchange student, Stig Mohlin (Luke Eisner). 

When Mohlin enters the plot, it feels as if the entire film slows down, and it’s incredibly cliché. As I watched the film, I felt like I could completely predict what was going to happen, especially starting with the Mohlin scene. Girl chases after boy, boy doesn’t like girl, boy likes girl, girl likes other boy– this mundane pattern of so many films before Tall Girl” set up the film for a perfect romance story– a perfect romance story to get tired of. 

Jodi sets out to be this incredibly relatable character, one who has flaws, yet is someone you hope to be. However, she accomplishes the opposite. She lives an extremely privileged life: a lavish house in the expensive city of New Orleans, two parents who live together and easy access to education. Her disdain for her lifestyle comes off as privileged and ignorant. She’s an affluent young woman, yet she is painted as a victim throughout the plotline. Jodi doesn’t quite understand her role in society, and because of this it is easy to stop watching the film just out of pure dislike of her character. 

One of the most iconic lines of the film is “You think your life is hard? I’m a high school junior wearing size 13 Nikes. Men’s size 13 Nikes. Beat that.” This line speaks for itself; this bold statement sets the tone for the rest of the film. Pop culture ate this up, with many viewers using popular video-sharing app Tik Tok to dub their own hardships in response. 

While men’s size 13 Nikes are definitely an exaggeration, the message rings true to many viewers: every person feels self-conscious about something. Jodi’s sister struggles with seasonal allergies, Jodi’s best friend is outspoken in an attempt to compensate for her insecurities and her other best friend is self-conscious about his height. Each of these are insecurities that some students at WCHS may be able to relate to, which helps the film appeal to a younger audience.

The wardrobe choices of the film help to set it apart as well. In one of the most memorable moments of the film, Jodi bursts onto the stage at the school’s homecoming dance in a stand-out light blue pantsuit. The ruffled collared suit, which was the one Jodi felt the most comfortable in, when trying on clothing with her family, is a metaphor for her embracing her uniqueness and learning to love herself and her height. However, She falls short in delivering this message to a larger audience. Yes, Jodi learns to be OK with the way she looks, and she shows that in this pantsuit. But her speech only tells the peers of her school how she learned to love herself; it does not encourage them to do the same. It’s easy to connect with Jodi on this journey of self-love, however it’s hard to find a message to take out of it, as it seems like her journey does not apply to the rest of the world. 

“Tall Girl” does a great job advocating and portraying a group lesser shown in movies: tall girls. However, the movie comes off privileged and shallow. It falls short, in a movie about people who are very tall.