“Tall Girl” dissatisfies audiences with its unoriginal narrative

Aditi Lappathi and Aditi Praveen

Netflix released its latest Original movie “Tall Girl” on Sept. 13. A story about a 6-foot-1 high school junior named Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle) who is endlessly mocked for her ‘outlandish’ height. 

This movie was endlessly ridiculed on Twitter, with most of the jokes based on one of the first scenes in the movie, where Kreyman claims that she has it bad because she’s “a high-school junior wearing size 13 nikes, men’s size 13 nikes”. The internet seems like it’s having a tough time sympathizing with pretty blonde women that might have gone through a growth spurt.

The main plot progression begins when Kreyman bonds with her crush, Stig Mohlin (Luke Eisner), over the musical, “Guys and Dolls,” and obscure pop culture references. The overdone plot elements and lack of character development show just how much the writers of this movie know about actual teenagers. The answer: not very much. 

Not to mention, the first time that Kreyman and Stig met was a “coincidence.” It followed one of the most basic, boring plotlines that has ever existed (Girl stumbles into room, finds the guy she’s been crushing on, all alone, and surprisingly, they share the same interests). It seemed too perfect to be considered “random.” 

Additionally, many of the characters throughout the movie are flat and static. For example, Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck), one of Kreyman’s best friends, is extremely ‘quirky’. He carries his books in a milk crate, which prompts the question: Was he put in the movie just to be strange? He’s portrayed as an eccentric character for no particular purpose, other than to be a token archetype. This is similar to the inclusion of the “mean girl/archnemesis” archetype, represented by Kimmy Stitcher (Clara Wilsey) who’s out to “ruin” Kreyman’s life.

The basic dialogue structure also seems unnatural. Especially when Kreyman introduces her sister, she says, “She was spared the tall gene. But at least there is some balance in the genetic universe — she got Grandpa Larry’s allergies.” That line seems like it’s supposed to be taken sarcastically, but in the context of this whole movie, it was probably serious. The fact that her older sister, Harper Kreyman (Sabrina Carpenter), has to use nose spray constantly throughout the movie, combined with the fact that her allergies are her genetic ‘Achilles heel,’ makes those scenes seem like they’re trying to make fun of the comedy in rom-coms.

Another issue is the ridiculous misrepresentation of the actual discrimination and bullying that occurs in schools. It’s worth noting that depicting a white, blonde woman(features that held the American standard of beauty for many years), as ugly due to her above average height is a huge misconception of the way bullying and harassment occur. A single google search about height-based bullying shows many articles and forums, where people discuss their stories about being short, however very few results were about tall people being bullied for their height.

In addition to this, there are many plot holes and its progression is painfully predictable. It’s especially noticeable in a scene where Kreyman receives a video from her friend Liz (Paris Berelc). The inadequate plot is further revealed when Mohlin abruptly claims that he was trying to play with Kreyman’s emotions when he was asked, by Stitcher, about why he was talking to Kreyman. But, it was never clear whether he was lying about his intentions or if he was being truthful. Also, there are just so many better ways to answer why you’re talking to someone. 

However, this movie is still worth watching, if, for nothing else, then for its unintentional humor. It can be an enjoyable movie if you don’t take it too seriously. With all of the over-dramatized characters and the unintentional irony in the plot, it can be considered a satire if you choose to look at it that way.

If you want to watch a cheesy rom-com with your friends, or by yourself, just to laugh at how bad it is, this is the movie for you.