‘Tall Girl’ unable to live up to height of expectations due to poor storyline


Patti Perret / Netflix

‘Tall Girl’ stars newcomer Ava Michelle in the titular role. The movie premiered on Netflix on Sept. 13 to mostly negative reviews, averaging 44% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shedding light on the experiences of different people is usually a positive way of representing diversity. However, Netflix’s “Tall Girl” received backlash and negative opinions upon its Sept. 13 release. From one-dimensional characters to a highly unlikeable protagonist, “Tall Girl” has it all (or doesn’t).

The film centers around main character Jodi (Ava Michelle), who is 6 feet 1.5 inches tall. As she is introduced in the film, not many other character traits are given to the audience besides her above-average height. This is where the first problem with the film lies. 

Jodi is unlikeable, as she spends a large part of the film complaining about the struggles of being tall. Whether it be her size 13 shoes or lack of taller suitors, Jodi always finds something related to her height to complain about. 

In addition to this, we as audience members aren’t given other character traits to relate to. We don’t get to see any talents she has, hobbies she enjoys or really anything about what makes her who she is besides her being tall. 

The other characters are one-dimensional as well. Jodi’s friend Fareeda’s (Anjelika Washington) only central quality is that she picks Jodi up when she’s down, and her friend Jack’s (Griffin Gluck) main focus is that he’s been in love with her for years. 

When we are introduced to Jodi’s love interest, foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner), the only thing we can gather about him is that he’s attractive and sought after since coming to their high school. We don’t gather much about his life before, other than that he wasn’t popular back home. 

The acting is decent, but the writing easily overshadows it with unfunny jokes and cringey dialogue. The film also doesn’t do an effective job of making the audience sympathize with the protagonist. 

For example, Jodi complains that people make fun of her height too much, and this is why she doesn’t have anyone to date. However, there are four male characters throughout the movie who show interest in her, making the argument collapse in on itself. 

Jodi is a target for bullies due to her height, but this appears to be unrealistic. While people do get bullied for things like height, it is the sole reason why she doesn’t date or have many friends. As someone who knew a girl in high school even taller than Jodi who was very popular and successful, this portrayal doesn’t appear to encompass the common experiences of a tall girl.

Overall, “Tall Girl” doesn’t convey the message it wishes to convey, and even ends up contradicting itself. It doesn’t help that the characters are not well-rounded and the protagonist is unlikeable. “Tall Girl” is simply a predictable teen film full of cliches, except with an unnecessary focus on the protagonist’s height.