February 11th, 2022
MOVIE: TALL GIRL 2
STARRING: AVA MICHELLE, GRIFFIN GLUCK, SABRINA CARPENTER, STEVE ZAHN, ANGELA KINSEY
DIRECTED BY: EMILY TING
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 1 ½ STARS (Out of 4)
The main premise of the first Tall Girl was what the title states. It was about a tall girl in high school named Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle) who had to overcome her fears and anxiety of being the oddly tall girl in high school. Just from the premise of the first movie alone, there’s genuinely zero reason for there to be a second installment, but here we are with Tall Girl 2. Being tall is not much of a reason for anyone to be upset, I’m not insensitive to a person’s anxiety, especially the uncomfortable nature of being a tall person- at 6’ 2” I’m often uncomfortable on any coach flight- but Tall Girl 2 is a mixture of comedy, teenage romance, and coming-of-age story, with neither of those genres being able to stick out amongst the rest.
When the first Tall Girl movie ended, we saw Jodi face her fears, standing in front of her school at the homecoming dance, and speaking out against the popular kids in her school that bullied her. She was able to withstand the heartbreak from Swedish foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner) and fell in love with the much shorter Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck). She also earned respect from her older beauty pageant sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) and was able to find friendship at school for something other than being, as she said, “freakishly tall”. Things pick up right from there, with Dunkleman and her being a couple, her confidence is ever high, and now she must work up the courage when she wins the lead role in the high school production of Bye Bye Birdie. Now the title Tall Girl must navigate popularity, a new reality where the popular guy now notices her, and drown out the negative voices in her head.
Honestly, Tall Girl 2 is harmless, a movie that barely deserves any sort of criticism because it’s genuine in the points it’s trying to make. The problem with all that, however, is that director Emily Ting and writer Sam Wolfson deliver a product that is both lame and phony. Almost all of the dramatics are completely fabricated, where a world filled to the brim with social issues and strife, there are worse problems than being tall. As the lead Ava Michelle fits the part- yes, she is tall- but she’s hardly the kind that would lack confidence, but her acting is often stiff. Everyone surrounding her is trying to be a larger than life character, a mix of sitcom stereotypes and plot points, while her parents- played thanklessly by Angela Kinsey and Steve Zahn- offer nothing but kindness instead of any real depth. Across the board Tall Girl 2 isn’t real, it’s an absolute fantasy is what it is.
I was genuinely surprised that Netflix would even green light a Tall Girl sequel but in the age of streaming wars, this seems like a play to be Netflix’s next series, shooting into the vein of The Kissing Booth movies. The cast is a collection of well groomed, shiny looking people, which is a combination of glossy lighting, and reused movie sets. Besides the standard Netflix movie stylings, Tall Girl 2 is ultimately too lame to waste time or energy on. There’s nothing edgy or intriguing about these high school kids. If Euphoria is the extreme of what high school can be like for teenagers, Tall Girl 2 is the equivalent of a magical high school utopia.
And it’s honestly not anyone involved fault, there seems to be genuine care from Emily Ting as a director to take these characters seriously. What ends up happening is that the audience can’t take anyone seriously. The conflict exists in brief moments of anxiety, the high school romance that is both lifeless and sexless, and a production that looks like it was filmed in the Netflix studio next to Red Notice. Tall Girl 2 is just not much of a movie. Maybe it would work as a fun tween book series. Maybe it’s just not that big a deal to be a tall person. Being tall is awesome. If anyone has a problem with a person that is tall, you can almost guarantee that they are very small- in stature and in brain capacity. My guess is Tall Girl 3 will happen, maybe it will come to the realization that all this complaining was truly just a waste of everyone’s time.
TALL GIRL 2 IS AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX FRIDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, 2022
1 ½ STARS
Written by: Leo Brady