The problem with “Tall Girl”

Story by Will Hanson, Arts and Entertainment Editor

“Tall Girl” is a Netflix original movie following a girl in high school with insecurities about her height. The film stars Ava Michelle of “Dance Moms” fame in the lead role and is directed by Nzingha Stewart.

“Tall Girl” serves as Michelle’s first large acting role, where she stars alongside seasoned actors such as Angela Kinsey of “The Office,” Steve Zahn, and Sabrina Carpenter.

The film serves as a coming-of-age for Michelle’s character Jodi, who stands at over 6 feet tall as a Junior in high school. She decides that after being made fun of and being afraid of attention, that she wants to confident with who she is.

With the fairly generic description, it looks like it would be another mediocre but mostly unproblematic Netflix movie with a “deep” message, similar to “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.”

The sheer ignorance present with all involved, baffles me beyond belief. The lack of understanding of real social issues and biases that plague the world makes this film feel like one big joke.

Jodi is tall, taller than everyone else in the film, but 6-foot-1 is not freakishly tall like the movie says she is. She is going through a period where she feels uncomfortable about how tall she is, when in reality, she is not even that tall.

Michelle looks much taller than six feet in the film, as all of the other principal actors in the film are below average heights. Carpenter stands at just five feet tall, with Kinsey at five feet one, and Zahn at five feet seven inches. Nearly every shot in the film is angled to have Michelle resemble a giant amongst a sea of dwarves.

Of course, Michelle looks at least seven feet tall in every shot of the movie. The sets, cinematography, and other actors are all built in order for Michelle look as freakishly tall as possible.

In my twenty years of going to school, I have never once experienced any bullying for my extreme height at a young age or seen anyone else being bullied for being tall.

“Tall Girl” is reminiscent to Debby Ryan’s Netflix Original show, “Insatiable” for going so far out of its league, by trying to tell a “deep” story, that had no real business being made. Like “Insatiable,” “Tall Girl’s” ridiculous premise has been the joke of many viral memes.

“Tall Girl” wants to be the next “Love, Simon” in regards in inclusivity in films, but the focus should have been on continuing to make content for groups of people that actually need it. People of color, members of the LGBTQ community, Muslims, etc. have much more of a need for content that will help them and the others around them accept them.

A white woman in high school, that is six feet tall, has nothing to complain about when it comes to being “unaccepted” by those around them. If Jodi’s character had been a member of the LGBTQ community or a person of color, and marketed as such, the film might have been salvageable. But, the film resembles a steaming pile of garbage that should just be taken to the dump.

After watching less than 20 minutes of the film, I decided I would be better off watching anything else.