<i>Tall Girl:</i> Another Formulaic Teenage Rom-Com with a Towering Gimmick

Tall Girl: Another Formulaic Teenage Rom-Com with a Towering Gimmick

By:
09/23/2019

I tried not to judge the movie before I watched it. Although the general premise isn’t my cup of tea and the groan-inducing trailer did nothing to alleviate my fears, I believe every flick deserves a fair chance. So I cleared my mind of all negative thoughts and sat down with friends to watch what could be a masterpiece. I realized very early on that my preconceived notions were fully justified.

The film begins by introducing us to Jodi (Ava Michelle), a high school student that stands at 6’1” and has been bullied since childhood due to her physical prowess. The main conflict consists of a love triangle between Jodi, Stig (Luke Eisner), the sexy foreign exchange student who seems different than everyone else, and Jack (Griffin Gluck), the childhood friend that’s always loved her. Shenanigans occur and the love triangle eventually becomes a love hexagon through sequences that are meant to be both comedic and dramatic. If that plot sounds familiar or cliche to you, then you can probably guess how the movie plays out. The overall trajectory of this film can be seen fairly early on and the movie does little to improve or alter its formulaic story. 

There are many disappointing elements to this flick but first I’ll examine the better parts in order to showcase the redeeming qualities. There were two things that I genuinely enjoyed in the film. First, Stig calls Jack the nickname “Dunkers” throughout the entire movie and the name is just really fun to say. Second, Jodi and Stig are sitting on a couch together in one scene causing Jack to sit in between the two of them; my friends and I were chanting for this to happen since the scene began, so the catharsis was glorious. There are some elements, such as the relatively simple plot and the heartwarming message of uniqueness as a strength, that may also be appealing for certain audience members. However, other films have handled these aspects better so these shouldn’t be the main draws of the film.

I would applaud the depiction of a tall female character as the protagonist since this is an underrepresented group within Hollywood flicks, but the treatment of all other minority characters as either comedic relief or villains causes me to bite back any praise. For every depiction of discrimination that Jodi faces due to her height, there’s at least one minority character with a flat arc who is simply there to move the story along. The most prominent example of this is Kimmy (Clara Wisely). As the rival love interest and main antagonist of the film, she should have an interesting motivation for her actions or at least be fun to watch. Instead, she simply exists to make Jodi’s journey more difficult,  and doesn’t have any funny interactions or devastating pranks. She is also extremely static throughout the movie so that the main characters’ terrible actions can be blamed on her without consequences for the love triangle.

The acting is mediocre, bordering on bad, and the camera shots are awkward with close-ups that don’t include the character’s entire head. The scenes are terribly composed with numerous logic problems and flaws poorly masked by stiff character interactions or unknown/generic pop songs. The soundtrack itself is the most disappointing part of this movie, filled with random tracks that try to copy more popular artists. The only recognizable song, “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, is completely out of place despite the fact that it’s used for the credits.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a film that’s similar to Disney Channel Original movies or Hallmark movies then you’ll probably have a good time with this flick since it shares many traits with those films. However, if you’re looking for a film that contains an engrossing romance or hilarious scenes, I would suggest any John Hughes movies, Love, Simon (2018) or The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Image Credits: IMDb

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Nathan Barber


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