Netflix’s Tall Girl falls short

Netflix’s most recent movie, Tall Girl, tells the story of a six foot one “giant” who learns to accept herself despite how tall she is. If this doesn’t scream cliche teenage romance, I don’t know what will.


Like all of its movies, Netflix has fantastic cinematography. Through lighting and coloration, they manage to create an aesthetic specific to the film. The lighting specifically was manipulated in a way that made the viewer feel the exact emotion producers wanted them to feel. If tied with a good story line, it has to power to make a good script with decent actors fantastic. However, this is where Tall Girl seems to fall short: the script.

The lines given and the scenarios that happened were so predictable. They managed to create a film with a storyline that seems to only be unique to babies. I was thoroughly disappointed because the concept of the story was so unique. There are always stories of the poor girl becoming a princess, the nerd who conquers the bully, and the short girl who always manages to have mountains of confidence against the towering jocks. But there’s never been a film about the tall girl who feels the size of an ant, a girl who’s been teased for her height all her life, or even the girl who never actually stands up for herself because the best friends do. 

If you could take 30, 40 people, show them the concept and ask them to write the script, there would be around 85% who write almost the identical thing that was portrayed in the movie: the new boy moves to town, the popular girl starts dating him, the protagonist falls in love with the boy, they start to date, the boy prefers popularity, she ends up with her best friend and neighbor. Like I said, with 40 antagonizing minutes left in the film, I 100% predicted the film play by play. 


Ava Michelle, the actress who played Tall Girl Jodi was only 5’11”, but in the film she was apparently 6’1”(the camera tends to add more height apparently).  The camera angles and supporting actors they used made her look like she was a full foot taller than the rest of her school. Her bullies thought it was weird she was 6’1”; I’m more confused as to why the rest of the town is seemingly 5’1”! 

I was also confused as to why being 6’1” was such an unusual thing because I can name at least five kids at our school who are taller than that. If they wanted to have the movie make sense, they should have made her at least 6’7”. 

The message behind the film made me a little uncomfortable. In a movie that is aimed at teen girls in middle school, you would think they would know better than to focus on outer beauty rather than your heart mattering most. Instead, they showed that you have to wear makeup, change your clothes, and curl your hair to be beautiful. Personally, I know plenty of girls who don’t have to curl their hair to be beautiful and who don’t need makeup. Rather, it’s more of a personal preference and what makes YOU feel beautiful, not what others think make you beautiful.

Griffin Gluck and Anjelika Washington played Jodi’s two best friends. They absolutely stole the show, seeming to be the only characters that showed personality and that they had a heart. They were the only ones who encouraged Jodi to accept herself and her height, not even the parents did that.


I feel like the parents should have had a more significant role in Jodi’s acceptance of herself. Instead, they were always belittling her and they didn’t try to hide the fact that they were embarrassed by her height. It got to the point that after a conversation with her parents, Jodi researched height reduction surgery and the recovery of it. 

Washington’s character, Fareeda, and Michelle’s Jodi got in a fight early on because Jodi thought Fareeda was lying when she talked about how beautiful she was. I’m a little annoyed her character was written off so early in the movie, especially because the two never actually made up in the end. It almost seemed like a waste to have her as a character, except for of course, that her character is one of the best.

Despite all of its numerous flaws, Tall Girl managed to have some pretty good one liners and quotes. One of my favorite quotes comes from Fareeda, “Stand up straight, walk tall, no slouching.” Let’s hope Tall Girl Jodi fully accepted herself and always stand up straight and walk tall, no matter what others say, because no one will ever want to watch her movie again.