Review: ‘Tall Girl 2’ manages to fall below audience expectations``
Netflix recently released a sequel to their original, teen rom-com movie “Tall Girl” on Feb. 11, so of course I had to write a review. An important thing to note going into this review is that I’m an avid watcher of movies in the same vein as “Tall Girl.” From “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” to that one movie where Bella Thorne plays a girl that’s allergic to the sun, I’ve definitely seen most of those nauseatingly cheesy, bad acting, rom-com flicks — I have a 14-year-old sister that I’ve always watched them with, what can I say?
Going into “Tall Girl 2,” I didn’t have very high expectations, but it still proved to be even worse than the first one. The plot was rushed, unimportant characters were added and the dialogue itself was irritating. As my sister texted me about this movie: it was so pointless. Yet, it was somehow still enjoyable to watch if only for making all my closest friends listen to me talk about it.
The plot of the movie is highly simplistic. The now-popular tall girl (her homecoming speech in the last movie really ended bullying), Jodi (Ava Michelle), gets the lead in a school musical and has to deal with imposter syndrome for the first time in her life. As she navigates her newfound popularity and busy rehearsal schedule, she finds herself dealing with relationship problems, missing her best friend’s birthday party and the pressure that comes with being a star.
A new tall girl even enters the scene for a bit: the tall foreign exchange student, Stig’s (Luke Eisner) sister, and adds nothing to the plot. Aside from being another tall girl in the movie, she does not do much else — I sincerely remember no other defining details about her character. Jodi also finds a new love interest in her musical co-star Tommy (Jan Luis Castellanos), but his appearance is as brief as a single kiss that’s just as insignificant to the plot as the appearance of Stig’s sister.
A highlight of “Tall Girl 2” was when one of the unnamed characters finally asked Jodi what we were all thinking — is being tall really that big of a problem? An unexpected acknowledgment of how ridiculous the movie’s premise actually is (because, seriously, who would consistently bully a conventionally pretty blonde girl just for being tall?) definitely made me laugh a little even though the intention was to show that everyone’s insecurities are valid.
I will admit that the movie also gives some desirable character development to mean girl Kimmy (Clara Wilsey) who decides that it isn’t so bad to be Jodi’s understudy in the musical. We also get to see more of Jodi’s fashion-loving best friend Fareeda (Anjelika Washington), but even this is overshadowed by forcing her into an unnecessary and underdeveloped relationship towards the end of the movie.
One of the worst parts of the movie, though, was Jodi’s inner dialogue. As she deals with feeling like she doesn’t actually deserve the starring role in the musical, we constantly hear Jodi’s voice in her head telling her this. Although we all have thoughts like these, the dialogue during these parts was irritating. This was one part of the movie I just couldn’t get behind because it felt so unnecessarily forced, and I think the movie would’ve been better off without it.
For the sake of an honest review, this does not mean I didn’t secretly enjoy watching “Tall Girl 2” — I don’t always think enjoyable cinema has to necessarily be good. I think if you need a totally mind-numbing break from the obscene amount of homework you have right now, this movie is a stellar choice. It was a cute movie and definitely one I’ll be forcing other friends to watch with me in the coming weeks. If they do make a “Tall Girl 3,” I’ll still likely be the first to watch it. And remember guys, there’s nothing wrong with dating a tall girl.
More from The Rice Thresher
With summer right around the corner, many students’ brains will finally have space for things other than organic chemistry or the latest coding problem that needs to be solved. Take this time to read for enjoyment again. The following are a series of summer recommendations perfect for time on a plane, by the pool or just on your couch. All incorporate travel in one way or another, and each has its own adventure that will leave you yearning for more.
Robert Eggers is a filmmaker whose work has been defined by its small scale and intensive focus on characters. His prior films, “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” both feature a small cast and embrace environmental horror as terrifying events slowly pull the main ensemble apart. His reputation for his smaller scale and focus is partly why “The Northman” was so interesting upon its announcement — “The Northman” blows up Egger’s storytelling onto a massive scale. The locations, number of characters, and time period all dwarf his prior films. For the most part, Eggers steps up to the plate, succeeding in his ambition. “The Northman” will be available to watch in theaters April 22.