A Tall Girl & A Short Girl Watched Netflix’s Teen Movie ‘Tall Girl’
Every so often a movie is released which has a title that baffles everyone so much that people assume it must be a joke. Enter Netflix’s latest teen flick Tall Girl which dropped over the weekend.
The title literally says it all. The movie is about a tall girl and her experiences at high school being ostracised for being…a tall girl. When we heard about the film here at Punkee we found ourselves in an oddly perfect position: with an editor, Tahlia, who is famously a short girl and senior writer, Tara, a famously a tall girl.
Who better to recap this trashfire of a film?
Here’s a bit about us:
Tara: While I might not quite reach six-foot, I was always one of the tallest girls in my year level. I got tall pretty early, so as of Year 7 I already towered over most of the boys. In dance class I was often cast in male roles as I was the tallest and whenever we had to line up in height order I’d know exactly where to go, which tbh was quite handy.
Did I ever get bullied for being tall? Not really. I got annoying comments, mostly about finding a taller boyfriend or teased for not being able to wear high heels — something I still rarely do. I also got heaps of compliments and was often told I have long legs like a model so I definitely wouldn’t say it affected me too negatively growing up as a teen.
Tahlia: Standing at exactly 5-foot (154 centimetres), I am the girl who is always the shortest in whatever crowd I’m in – whether it was school, my friendship group, uni, or anywhere else I’ve found myself in adult life.
I used to get teased endlessly in primary school, but I think my height has helped make me quite resilient as I’ve gotten older. I learned in netball if people elbowed me in the head, I could elbow them in the ribs. In mosh pits, it’s either die or comfortably navigate your way to the front by ducking under everyone else. And the one benefit of being short (though it’s also a con) is that people always deem you “cute” even if nothing about you is that cute, so it could be a lot worse.
For the purpose of this story, we will only be referred to as ‘Tall Girl’ (Tara) and ‘Short Girl’ (Tahlia).
A Tall Girl & A Short Girl Watched Netflix’s Tall Girl:
We meet Jodi: a tall girl
We open to a girl (a tall girl) sitting in a library reading a book, as we pan across the room and some cute boy is reading the same book. In the voiceover we learn a bit about the girl (Jodi) who is just over six-foot-tall:
“You know that really, really, really tall girl that you go to school with? The one that people call LeBron, Skyscraper, Daddy Long Legs? Well, that’s me,” she tells us.
Jodi and random cutie are vibing until THIS HAPPENS. Jodi stands. She’s tall! She’s very tall! He literally flees from her!
Tall Girl: This scene was truly extra. They must have found the tiniest fella for such an extreme comparison. Like, dude she’s tall but she’s not actually Bigfoot. I’ve had guys be surprised by how tall I am, but they’ve never stared at me with such a look of sheer fear. I’m a bit jealous. Such power. I want men to run from me as I chase them down with my stomping clown feet.
Short Girl: OK Jodie, I get it, it sucks to be nearly asked out then literally terrify a guy because you’re a fucking giant. But I raise you this: have you ever had a guy come over to you, lean down and whisper “You’re so tiny, I could put you on the highest shelf of my cupboard and keep you forever!” Talk to me then.
Tall Girl: I’m actually dying imagining that.
Everyone asks her ‘how’s the weather up there?’
Next, we see a flashback where Jodi’s parents take her to the doctors when she was younger asking whether they should medicate her to stunt her growth. Ugh…is that a thing?! It’s baffling.
Back at high school, Jodi enters the hall and within the first five minutes three people ask her, “How’s the weather up there?” AHAHAHA! What a lol! A+ joke.
Tall Girl: This is so weird and not true to life at all. No one who is a teenager would ever say this and I’ve only heard such a thing from a dad in their mid-50s. But I’m sure that short people get worse insults than this.
Short Girl: Terrible joke and short people honestly just get the reverse so it’s no better or worse. “How’s the weather DOWN there??” Cloudy with a chance of you being kicked in the balls, thanks for asking.
Tall Girl: I just want to note that they’ve clearly picked a very short cast of classmates because at just over 6-foot, Jodi would not look this giant if she was surrounded by a range of heights. This shit is crazy and they’ve made her look like a Sasquatch by comparison.
tall girl netflix (2019) pic.twitter.com/sHGn1WXFeg
— pluto loves mx. thief (@theantialoha) September 12, 2019
Anyways, Jodi is miserable with her tall life. For some reason she dresses in a construction uniform (apparently a tall body can’t just wear bigger sized clothes?!) and says she gave up her passion of playing piano because she doesn’t want extra attention.
We meet Jack, a guy who inexplicably carries a milk crate around with him everywhere. It turns out Jack is in love with Jodi but there’s one problem: he’s short. We learn Jodi — a person claiming to be stigmatised because of her height her whole life — will not date a short guy. She says it will just draw more insults her way and she can’t take it.
Tall Girl: I can relate to Jodi wanting to find a tall boyfriend but not for the reasons she explains. I just find when I date super short guys, I feel like I’m their mum. Like I should carry their backpack or cut them some slices of apple, or something? Do you care about the guy’s height for a potential date?
Short Girl: OK this is where short ladies are lucky. I don’t care about the height of the guy I’m dating but it’s because I’ve literally never had to worry about dating a guy shorter than me.
Tall girl meets tall boy
Cut to a tall glass of Swedish water, Stig, entering the classroom. Jodi is immediately in love as he is tall and that is her only prerequisite in this life. Stig apparently doesn’t notice Jodi’s height as her friend assures her that everyone is tall in Sweden.
OK THEN! SURE!
Stig enters the class by rushing to the blackboard to finish the teacher’s equation, which is rude and psychotic but everyone is cool with it. Because Stig is a tall boy he is surrounded by women and instantly popular.
One of these women is Kimmy, who pranks Jodi by getting her friend to pretend to be Stig and asking her out before calling her an err… “big ugly giraffe.” GOOD ONE, KIMMY. She finishes the phone call by telling our protagonist: “Let’s face it Jodi, you’re the tall girl. You’ll never be the pretty girl.”
Are those two things mutually exclusive, Kimmy? I think supermodels across the world might beg to differ but go off.
Anyways, back to Stig. Jodi finds him playing piano and they compare hand sizes which is basically foreplay for teens.
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PEOPLE WITH BIG HANDS? BIG HEARTS!
Tall Girl: Flirting with guys by comparing hands is extremely high school and I love it. I can vouch for the fact that people would see my long, dangly, skeletal fingers and say I should be a pianist. It’s a weird, unprompted thing strangers do. I did once learn to play ‘Swan Lake’ on the keyboard. Take THAT, society.
Short Girl: Honestly I’m 29 and I’d still flirt with guys by comparing hand sizes, in fact, I think I did it recently even though my hands are the size of a 12-year-old. Look having small hands is a bit difficult — I can’t carry a round of three drinks for example. But I’ve never been told I have the benefits of a certain skill because I’m small – on the plus side I’m great at hiding from people.
Jodi’s parents organise a tall people conference at her house
Ugh. This movie. OK, so Jodi gets home to find that her mum and dad have invited ‘The Toptoppers’ over — a club of people dedicated to being tall. They sing their theme song to Jodi which includes the lyrics: “For being so gigantic that we’re cramped on every flight.”
As Jodi escapes upstairs, a woman hits her head on a door frame saying “Being tall sucks!” If this movie has a higher purpose, I’m not seeing it. Pun intended.
Tall Girl: Am I drunk right now? Is this happening? I get that these people are very very tall and that can be hard but there are worst things to be in this cruel world.
Short Girl: Sometimes I see a tree branch or something that I could definitely fit under and still duck, so I get it. I relate. But also if you’re so used to being so tall, how are you walking into doors?
Tall girl goes on a date with tall boy
Shortly after Jodi googles “height reduction surgery” (omfg am I dreaming?), Stig calls her up and asks her if she wants to come over and watch a musical… which is basically my dream until I realise they’re watching Oklahoma, which blows.
Jack is also there being annoying and still very short. On the tram together, the joint tallness of both Jodi and Stig together creates a mess of limbs.
Tall Girl: This scene is quite funny to me and I do get a bit triggered. This is honestly what it’s like sitting in economy class on flights where my legs have nowhere to go and I have to hug my knees to my chest like I’m giving birth. I pretty much perpetually feel like the big guy in The Simpsons in the tiny car.
Short Girl: I just think a lot of transport isn’t built for people to be facing each other. Sure, I’m short (as we have now established) but it doesn’t mean I still don’t get cramped legs sitting in the middle seat of a car or across from someone on the train. My complaints are absolutely not as valid however, because if I feel uncomfortable in those situations I can’t even imagine how much worse it is being much taller.
Tall girl and tall boy share a kiss, but because Stig has a girlfriend (oh yeah, Kimmy lol forgot to mention that) they agree to keep it on the DL. Jodi is sad and tells Stig: “Being a tall guy is great but being a tall girl, it’s the only thing that people see.”
Tall Girl: This is on point and very true. Like on Tinder I’d never list my height for fear I’d be too tall for guys, whereas tall guys boast about their height, putting it first on their bio.
Short Girl: Maybe it’s only short people who don’t notice other people’s heights? Like, Tara, I know you’re tall but that was never my first impression of you like, SHIT what a TALL GIRL. Then again, maybe it’s because everyone is taller than me, so I don’t find it alarming. My question is, have you had guys be intimidated when it comes to your height when going on dates?
Tall Girl: They have never said anything outright but I did once chase a guy down the street screaming ‘IT’S GODZILLA!!!’ Never got a second date, which was unfortunate.
Stig leaves Jodi a note to meet in the piano room. He says he will end it with Kimmy but then flakes on their date. Jodi tells him, “You like being the popular guy much more than you like me.”
Jack arrives at Jodi’s house and gives her a gift: a pair of high heels he bought from a drag queen shop. She says she’ll NEVER wear them.
WE GET IT BITCH, YOU’RE A TALL GIRL.
Tall Girl: Again, I’m triggered. Not just because those are the fugliest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen but the thought of wearing heels that high gives me anxiety. I’m so inexperienced wearing heels I’d feel like I was walking on stilts and that my knees would snap off.
Short Girl: I admire anyone who can wear heels, short or tall. I used to wear them in my late teens for that height boost, and I just gave up sometime after I moved to Sydney. I’ll get married in my converses, take my word for it.
Tall girl decides she actually likes the short boy
Stig decides to stay with Kimmy because he wants to seize the chance to be popular. He badmouths Jodi in front of the school and this is filmed and showed to Jodi. Jodi watches on and sees that Jack defended her. She immediately falls in love with Jack. OK. Whatever.
Jodi rocks up at the school dance wearing the heels and gives a speech that starts off by saying: “You may know me as Amazon or Godzilla or Jodi the Green Giant, or any of those other insults that you’ve called me in the past years, um…You know what? I… I get it. I’m… I’m tall, really, really tall.”
SHE SURE IS, FOLKS. Everyone cheers. Jodi rushes to Jack’s house and admits her feelings. He grabs his handy milk crate and stands on it so he is tall enough to kiss her.
It suddenly all makes sense.
Tall Girl: This just seems impractical. So we are supposed to think he will carry this with him for the rest of his life just to be at eye-level?! Why can’t she just bend her damn knees?! I’m assuming you carry a milk crate with you on every date, Tahls?
Short Girl: It’s cute you assume I even get asked on dates. I take my milk crate with me to my WIPS at work so my boss knows who’s boss.
THIS MOVIE. From a tall girl to a short girl, what a mess.
I actually can’t.