I don’t know how Sam Wolfson, who is credited on IMDB for writing the Netflix movie “Tall Girl,” identifies. Man? Woman? Non-binary? I’m not sure if the personal details, that Sam is 4’11”, listed on the page are true.
What I do know is that “Tall Girl” is one of the worst teen rom-coms I’ve ever seen, and this is coming from someone who totally romanticized all the fucked up relationships John Hughes fed us as normal in the 1980s.
In my defense, I had to watch this movie. It was my duty as an actual, factual tall woman named Jodi who used to be a tall girl. See, the main character in the movie is also named Jodi. JODI! Just like me. Even spelled correctly. The only way this movie could have been more made for me is if she had been a tall, fat girl who also had three younger sisters who were total bitches all the time in the way of most younger sisters.
Alas, this fictional tall girl named Jodi did not have younger sisters who were bitches and she was not even close to fat. Not even close to average weight. The fictional tall girl was your classic tall, slim, blonde. But still. . . I had to watch it. Right?
Darling Ones, watching it was a mistake. A giant, upsetting, frustrating, offensive, exhausting mistake.
I don’t even know where to begin with the complaining about the tone-deafness and utter ridiculousness of this trash heap.
Maybe I should start with how tall, slim, beautiful, blonde, white Jodi thinks that she has it rougher than anyone else and that nobody could possibly understand how hard life is for her, not even her black best friend. Let me tell you, racism way worse than being tall.
Here are a few of my petty grievances.
- Jodi’s parents and sister were not just average height, but on the shorter side of average. Where did this “freakish” height come from (and I put freakish in quotes because she’s only 6’1″ and no doctor in the movie called her a statistical aberration, unlike yours truly).
- Nobody asked her if she played basketball.
- Even though she grew up with the kids she went to school her whole life they never tired for asking her every day “How’s the weather up there?” That’s weird.
Here’s my main grievance: The Ducky Dale character.
Ducky follows Jodi around throughout the movie and I think we’re supposed to gather this has happened throughout life, toting his books around in a milk crate and telling Jodi repeatedly that she needs to get over being so tall and date a short guy, him specifically.
Here is my eternal shriek about it: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Ugh. I hate that whole situation.
I hate it because it makes Jodi seem like she’s too dumb or too afraid of what everyone thinks to date a shorter guy. I hate it because it doesn’t get into the complexities of what it means to be a tall woman and how that fits with femininity and how what’s the most important thing about a partner is how you feel with them and not look with them.
Ducky is a fucker. He shames and lectures Jodi at every turn for not returning his affection, and he assumes it’s all because she’s too embarrassed to date a short guy and not at all to do with the fact that he’s a total fucking fucker.
At one point Ducky gives Jodi a pair of high heel shoes that she ends up wearing to homecoming, along with a suit, and where she gives some weird coronation-interupting speech that ends with, and I kid you not, “The weather up here is pretty good.”
Also, why does the tall girl have to dress like a man most of the time? Why did she have to wear a suit to homecoming?
Also, why does this movie make me so angry I get the heart shakes and my face hurts from scowling.
It sucks because they had the opportunity to write a sweet rom-com about someone who is physically other (see the delightful “Dumplin'”) and instead wrote a trash heap of shitty sexist and tall cliches, a story were the only way a tall girl can be validated is through the affections of a man.