A Run-Of-The-Mill Rom-Com
Both my daughters have grown up in a world obsessed with looking a certain way, with social media only making this problem worse. My youngest always used to be desperate to get thousands of likes on her Instagram posts and at one point she even considered getting plastic surgery on her nose, thanks to the other kids at school bullying her.
Thankfully, she’s managed to shed some of her insecurities and grow out of that toxic phase. Unfortunately, many teens nowadays are still trying to deal with issues like this, and it’s an ongoing problem in society that doesn’t look like resolving itself any time soon.
Tall Girl is a movie that tries to show us what it’s like to live with these insecurities and, in particular, how to deal with adversity. Unfortunately, Tall Girl plays out as a stereotypical rom-com instead, failing to offer anything new or unique to a well-worn genre.
Set in New Orleans, the story follows 16 year old Jodi. Standing a little over 6 feet tall, Jodi struggles to fit in at school and finds herself a victim of cruel jokes by the other teens around her. Desperate to feel normal and fit in, her best friend does her best to help her feel that way. When tall and hunky Swedish Stig arrives at school as an exchange student, Jodi is smitten and thinks her luck has changed. However, her high school nemesis Kim also has her eyes on him which looks set to cause more trouble in her already-difficult life.
From here, Tall Girl plays out as a typical teen rom-com, one with stereotypical characters and a very predictable storyline. It follows all the usual tropes you’d expect within that teen romance framework, despite touching on an important subject.
While the movie mainly focuses on Jodi’s height and her struggles to fit in, we do see her loved ones having a hard time too. Her beauty pageant sister is obsessed with staying slim but strugglies with allergies while Stig revealing himself to be a nerd in his own country is a nice touch too. If there’s one thing Tall Girl does right, it’s with its overall message – accept who you are and rise above the bullies.
Ava Michelle is charming in her role and does a good job portraying the struggling teenager while Sabrina Carpenter, playing her sister, has a refreshingly comedic role as her sister, with some nice jokes peppered in the run time. Unfortunately, the predictable story and cheesy dialogue fails to match up to the overall message of the film.
Everyone has something they would like to change about themselves. This is a very common issue in the world today and is central to Tall Girl’s thematic core. Unfortunately the film never really reaches the same level as other teen movies like Mean Girls, slipping up with its predictability that will ultimately make this Netflix flick forgettable in the weeks to come.
Still, for anyone looking for an easy to watch teen rom-com and for fans of the genre, you may find some enjoyment here even if it does fail to reach the heights it sets out to try and achieve for itself.