Clearly, I needed to watch this movie as duh, that’s me – the tall girl – but here I will give my honest review on Netflix’s new rom com, “Tall Girl” and where it hits close to heart, but of course, also falls short.
A quick summary of the plot: Jodi (played by Ava Michelle) is the tallest girl in her high school at 6’1″. She has always felt uncomfortable in her own skin. To add to it, she is endlessly mocked by her classmates for her height and tries to avoid attention at all costs – until Stig, the Swedish foreign exchange student, comes in.
This Netflix movie, as cheesy and exaggerated as it is, actually has pretty relatable parts. The classmates constantly ask Jodi, “How’s the weather up there?” and on a real note, I’ve only gotten that question two or three times. But if there is a routine question I would get, it would be “Do you play volleyball or basketball?” or “It must be hard finding a guy taller than you.”
If I’m going to share a secret, I did try out for my high school volleyball team and no, I did not make the cut. My poor hand-eye coordination led the ball to hit my face more than my hands.
Like Jodi, I was also uncomfortable in my skin being the tallest in my class from elementary school all the way to high school. I also nodded with knowing recognition when they did a flashback to Jodi being in the back for group school photos because I remember when that was me. And if there was ever a lunch line in grade school that had the kids line up by height, you know that I would never be the line leader.
It’s also true that being tall, I stayed away from high heels. As much as I secretly loved trying on my mom’s heels and flaunting a Tyra Banks walk in my home, I could never get the courage to wear them at school or just outside. And if there was a special occasion to wear them like prom, I would try to find the lowest heel possible to make sure my date didn’t feel self conscious.
Which brings me to my next point: boys.
It is with no doubt that I had a hard time finding a guy taller than me all throughout my life. In fact, when people asked me what my ideal type was I only had one criteria: over 6 feet (hey, I had to leave some room for me and my shoes). This image of my ‘ideal guy’ consumed me so much so, that the more time that I spent looking for someone taller and not finding ‘the one,’ the more I would hate myself and my height for it.
I had this cycle that would be on repeat: I blamed my parents initially. And then I blamed God for creating me like this. And then I blamed myself – I had so much self hate surrounding my 5’11” stature that I thought I would never find my person.
I also had a “I’ve been there!” moment when Jodi ended up Googling “height reduction surgery.” (And for all the curious, it is not just a costly procedure but a VERY intense one. I highly do not recommend looking into it!)
Where “Tall Girls” the movie falls short, though, is not the plot itself or the message it is trying to give to its audience, it is actually the love line. It is cringe-worthy. They have to keep it interesting all the while trying to make it high-school appropriate, and I think Jodi was almost forced into certain love lines to make a happy ending for the movie.
Another reason why the movie falls short is the lack of diversity. Other than the Black best friend who is confident in all the right ways, all the high schoolers are Caucasian and come from an affluent background (who drives BMW SUVs to school at 16?)
Overall, I enjoyed the movie as it touched on the ‘tall girl’ moments that no other movie has touched on: I do tend to slouch more, random branches on trees hit me more often on my run than they should, and pants are never going to be “ankle length.”
Although I sometimes still do feel awkward being that “tall Korean girl” today, I remind myself of how far I’ve come.
I embrace that I have hobbies beyond sports. I do a Tyra Banks walk in pants that only reach my calves (and dresses that are too short). And yes, I have a boyfriend who is shorter than me but I love that about him and I have a strong feeling he is ‘the one.’
This movie is not just for the tall girls – it’s for anyone who has insecurities. Everyone, and let me repeat everyone, has body issues. While you may feel ‘different,’ it is important you learn to love yourself.
For all the frustrations and challenges I dealt with (and am still dealing with) for being tall, I am at a point in my life where I am proud to be a tall Korean girl.
Watch the trailer below and the movie at Netflix, and comment on what you think!