Reel Thoughts: ‘Tall Girl 2’ falls incredibly short


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

While we thought the original “Tall Girl” movie was delightfully awful, “Tall Girl 2” lacked the iconic height jokes, and any compelling plot at all.

Joanna Hou and Yiming Fu

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

The movie that made men’s size 13 Nikes the laughing stock of the internet is back. But “Tall Girl 2” falls short in every comparison to its iconic predecessor.

Released in 2019, the first “Tall Girl” was awful. We can’t deny it: the movie featured a mediocre love triangle and portrayed height insecurity, of all things, as a near-insurmountable personal struggle.

But it was awful in a good way. We walked away from that movie with TikToks that poked fun at main character Jodi Kreyman’s (Ava Michelle) height “trauma,” gallons and gallons of milk crate jokes (the milk crate doesn’t even exist in this movie) and the random-but-standout tall person club scene at Jodi’s house. This was a movie you could have a good time watching because of its sheer ridiculousness.

Its sequel, on the other hand, is just mid.

Its basic premise is clear: Jodi, the Tall Girl herself, auditions for a high school musical and succeeds while overcoming her anxiety. During the movie, she also struggles with a new relationship and learns to embrace her true self.

Unnecessary scenes constantly disrupt the chronological plot, such as a dance scene in a park filled with scary pig sculptures and a moment when Stig Mohlin (Luke Eisner) decides he wants to be the server for Jodi’s three month anniversary dinner. We give our award for “Most Random Appearance” to Stig’s sister, Stella (Johanna Liauw) who visits town on a whim and gives us absolutely nothing, but stays for at least half of the movie. Why was she there?

Although we could follow the plot, the movie felt plain, and there weren’t many standout moments. It is beyond boring, and we paused multiple times to talk about something else — anything else. The lows that defined the former movie are fully missing, replaced with an emptiness that stings with disappointment. We expected the movie to be crummy, but in a way that would be enjoyable. Instead, the emptiness left us dissatisfied.

Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) loses his romantic quirks and delivers a shallow performance, coming across as a generic, manipulative ex. He stops loving Jodi for who she is and starts loving her for how she makes him feel. When she tries to set boundaries, Dunkleman straight-up ends their relationship.

He’s not the only one with a bad arc. Jodi herself is flat and underdeveloped, making it difficult for us to relate to her. Even her anxiety came across as a half-problem and Michelle’s acting missed the mark.

Maybe saddest of all is the lack of height-related drama in the new movie. We were waiting for more overdramatic complaining and giant shoes. “Tall Girl 2” did not deliver.

Despite many lows, this movie had a handful of highs.

One potential point of conflict at the beginning of the movie is between Jodi and Kimmy Stitcher (Clara Wilsey), the popular, brunette, not-too-tall bombshell who always bags the lead role in the musical. When Jodi gets the part instead, Kimmy is hellbent on revenge.

Kimmy doesn’t get her villain moment. We kind of liked that.

This feud fizzles out in a heartwarming way when the cast performs a “burning ceremony” before tech week. Each cast member throws an item in a fire pit to rid themselves of bad energy. But, when Jodi tosses her iconic bedazzled 6-inch heels into the flames, Kimmy steps up to save them. The glittery heels still got cooked well-done, and Kimmy turned out to be the least of our problems. She was truly a girlboss with heart. We wanted more screen time from her.

Fareeda (Anjelika Washington) is an incredible best friend, and she’s so easy to root for. We couldn’t help but swoon when she found out Stig bought her entire fashion line. The actress adds a spunk to her character that packs a punch. We wanted to see more from her. Though her newfound relationship is sweet, it was built up hastily and lacks substance. Just make the movie all about Fareeda instead, guys.

Our favorite scene by far was the moment when the casting director for the musical finally said what we were all thinking about all along: the fact that being tall is literally not a problem. Compared to actual disabilities and social issues, being tall is not close to awful. Did Jodi slightly comprehend this after the scene? Yes and no. But we’re happy someone tried talking some sense into her.

“Tall Girl 2” is just bland. If you want a movie to play as background noise while you’re cooking dinner, this might be a film worth your time. But if you’re looking for a horrible movie you’ll enjoy, we recommend the original.

To butcher Fareeda’s opening remarks to Stig, “We aren’t celebrating (Tall Girl 2) because we are no longer friends (fans of Tall Girl 2 as a concept). Keep walking, IKEA.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @joannah_11

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @yimingfuu

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