Netflix has become notorious for their original movies, most of which are geared toward tween to teen audiences. The list of original young adult films Netflix has under their belt includes adaptations of novels such as ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ and ‘The Kissing Booth’, as well as a few originals such as ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser’ and ‘The Last Summer’. These Netflix teenage romantic comedy movies are often hit or miss when it comes to making a decent film. Their newest addition to their original line up, ‘Tall Girl’, is more of a miss than a hit.
Netflix’s most recent original movie ‘Tall Girl’ premiered on the streaming platform on September 13, 2019. The film features ‘Dance Moms’ star Ava Michelle, as well as several Disney stars including Sabrina Carpenter, Luke Eisner and Griffin Gluck in the main cast. The two hour teenage rom-com tells a relevant story of insecurities that many high schoolers face, but Netflix does not particularly tell this story in the best way.
The movie follows our main character Jodi Kreyman, a six-foot-one sixteen year old battling the struggles of high school, friends, family, boys and insecurities. Just like most teen movies, the central issue the main character faces is her love life. Being six-foot-one, her ‘dream guy’ must be taller than her among other qualities. Her quest to find a guy who is taller than her comes to an end with the new Swedish exchange student, Stig Mohlin. Throughout her quest to make Stig fall in love with her, she complicates her relationships with her best friends Dunkleman and Fareeda, her sister Harper, and her parents, as well as sinking deeper into her self confidence issues.
This Netflix Original borders on a fine line between heart warming coming-of-age film and cheesy teen movie. Like most films, ‘Tall Girl’ has its negatives and its positives.
The positives of this movie include its overall message. ‘Tall Girl’ deals with the topics of confidence and insecurities. The film does a fairly decent job of dealing with these issues. While Jodi struggles with her physical image, she learns that insecurities, such as her height, do not define her. In the end, she accepts every part of herself and gains a new confidence. Instead of letting herself be heartbroken, Jodi stands up for herself and owns who she is.
The negatives of this film are the cheesy aspects that cause the film to border into cringey as well as the inclusion of overused film tropes. ‘Tall Girl’ follows the trope of the main character falling for the untouchable popular kid while the less popular and attractive kid is in love with them. This trope can be found in almost any young adult film, all the way back to the John Hughes classics of the 1980s like ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Pretty In Pink’. The use of this trope within the storyline leads to the film having a ‘been there, done that’ feel as you watch.
The positives and negatives are equal and come together to make a decent film. Nothing in particular makes this film stand out amongst any other young adult romantic comedy Netflix has produced over the past two years. ‘Tall Girl’ is a fairly good watch, but definitely not a film to revisit more than once.
Overall, ‘Tall Girl’ is an acquired taste. It falls into a middle ground for Netflix originals, not being as well received as ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ but also not as negatively received as ‘Sierra Burgess Is A Loser’, ‘Tall Girl’ is a completely decent movie. Despite being your typical teenage rom-com, there are some beautiful lessons embedded in this film. It is very clear what message viewers should take away from this film. A message of self confidence and self love. This film is definitely not a win for Netflix, but does showcase the platforms ability to create films with a purpose. Hopefully in the future, they will strive to create unique young adult films and keep with the theme of important overarching messages.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment