Snowballs 2019: Worst Film - Tall Girl

Kate Dunkerton runs down the long list of reasons why Tall Girl was the worst film of the year.

Kate Dunkerton
11th December 2019
Tall Girl still. Image: IMDB
As a tall girl, I was excited to watch Netflix’s teen rom-com Tall Girl, following the trials and tribulations of a high school girl who towers above her classmates. What I didn’t expect was just how contrived and immature the entire film was. Directed by Nzingha Stewart and starring teenage actress Ava Michelle, it will not go down as one of Netflix’s better attempts at original content due to the liberal use of clichés and poor acting.
Tall Girl director Nzingha Stewart. Image:IMDB

As the film opens, we are introduced to Jodi, a 6 foot 1 and a half female, labelled the “tall girl” at her school. After being asked out whilst sitting down, the boy is immediately put off as she stands over him, seeming more like 8 foot rather than 6. What follows is the childish bullying in the hallways over her height. These include insults like “how’s the weather up there?”, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say. Ever. Through flashbacks, we see her source of insecurity is through her overbearing dad (Steve Zahn), who has had her tested for medical issues over her height since she was three. This contrasts with her older sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter), a beauty pageant queen of average height.

Jodi is relentlessly pursued by her shorter friend Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck), who carries around a milk crate. This doesn’t help when Swedish foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner), who looks just like he’s out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue, comes into her life, who sees beyond her supposedly abnormal height. Of course, she must fight for his affections with her long-time bully Kimmy (Clara Wilsey), who used to call Jodi “Taller Swift”, which is apparently really funny. I’ll avoid spoilers, but the ending, featuring the infamous milk crate, is cringey and awkward.

Overall, the film tries to be something that it’s not. It makes poor jokes that don’t land, you don’t root for any of the characters including Jodi and it is just an unrealistic portrayal of being a “tall girl”.

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