Tall Girl gives a false perception of high school

There are real issues going on in the world, like the countless countries living in poverty, but Jodi Kreyman, a financially stable girl with parents who love her, thinks her life is especially tragic. “You think your life is hard? I’m a high school junior wearing size thirteen Nikes,” she said.  

The Netflix original movie “Tall Girl” is about a 16 year old girl who is immensely insecure about how tall she is. Not only is this movie the epitome of first world problems, but it also gives a completely unrealistic depiction of high school. 

As Jodi walks through the halls at school, random peers repeatedly ask her, “How’s the weather up there?” First of all, no competent high school student would ask a random person this question. Secondly, this is the only line delivered to make fun of Jodi for her height because there is literally no other well known way to make a tall person uncomfortable. This overused sad excuse for an insult is proof that finding ways to insult a tall person is nearly impossible. 

This is because being tall is an admirable quality. I cannot even tell you how many times someone has told me that they wish they were taller. A big mistake the filmmakers made in this movie was the assumption that tall girls are insecure about their height. At about 5’7”, I am on the taller side for females, and I love my height. 

The only negative about being tall and female are the guys who feel threatened because they insist on being “the taller one in the relationship.” In that case, it is the guy’s problem, not the girl’s.

This boy-girl height dilemma brings us to the love triangle: Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) and Stig Mohlin (Luke Eisner). Jack has been Jodi’s best friend since early childhood and he spends the entire movie trying to convince Jodi to be more than friends. The only thing holding Jodi back is the fact that she is significantly taller than him. 

The Swedish exchange student in the movie, Stig Mohlin, arrives as Jodi ironically says that a taller guy will not just walk through the door. She falls for Stig instantly because he is what she thinks she wants in a boyfriend. 

**SPOILER ALERT**  Looking back, it is easy to predict that Jodi breaks up with Stig to be with Jack, the boy next door who has stuck by her side all along. If you have seen the movie “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton,” it is essentially the same romantic plot.

Movies like “Tall Girl” make me think that teenage perspectives are never actually directly observed or taken into account when making a movie about teenagers. When I compare this movie to a 1980s high school movie like “Sixteen Candles”, the only major differences are the fashion and level of vulgarity allowed in the film.

Attention older generations: the social system of high school students have changed since the 80s, especially due to the advancement of technology and the outburst of increased acceptance toward previously oppressed groups. 

I understand the message this movie is trying to give about “being yourself” or “embracing what makes you unique,” but the makers’ execution was inadequate. The characters are too caricature-like to be realistic, as is the high school that supposedly represents how teenagers actually act toward each other. Not to mention, the outcome could not be more predictable. 

“Tall Girl” was a great idea in essence, but poor execution led to its downfall. 

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