By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
The 2019 Netflix film ‘Tall Girl’ was a pretty average but sweet story about a very tall girl dealing with high-school. It ends on a cliched but conclusive tone and probably didn’t need a sequel. But trust Netflix to not care. So we have ‘Tall Girl 2’, which surprisingly turned out be a fun watch for a teen rom-com. Although, viewers expecting a concrete story-line complete with some strong conflict, might be left disappointed.
Directed by Emily Tang, written by Sam Wolfson, ‘Tall Girl 2’ continues with the story of Jodie (Ava Michelle), who has been dating her much shorter best-friend Jack Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) for three months. In an adorable opening sequence, the two quickly recap the events that led them into a relationship, so it helps in summing up the first film. However, with ‘Tall Girl’ resolving Jodie’s insecurities about her height and giving her a steady boyfriend, the sequel explores how she navigates through her new-found popularity, and now struggles with ‘imposter syndrome’.
Now here is what the sequel does differently than most teen flicks, it splinters its focus on Jodie’s friends, and doesn’t keep the limelight on her. This may not go down well with many, but kind of worked for me (although, this is something I have complained about in some series/movies). Apart from watching Jodie’s struggle with the pressures of playing the lead-role in the school’s play, there’s a fun sub-plot about Jack Dunkleman finally accepting his Swedish housemate Stig Mohlin’s (Luke Eisner) friendship. So the two boys talk stuff out and have some fun, this was a refreshing addition, since it’s usually only girls talking their feelings out onscreen. Sabrina Harper gets some emotional scenes in as the elder sister too.
Ava Michelle as the awkward Jodie doesn’t exactly stand-out, but she has a sturdy charming support-cast backing her up and holding the film together. Griffin Gluck for example is an absolute sweetheart as Jack Dunkleman, who literally lights multiple candles for his lady-love. Luke Eisner as the dashing Swede sees growth in his character, someone who goes out of his way to help his friends out. Angela Kinsey and Steve Zahn reprise their roles as Jodie’s parents, and are quirky as the over-protective but emphatic mom-dad to two daughters. I love how they sensitively handle Jodie’s anxiety and do not downplay her issues.
This is a fluffy, funny, feel-good teen movie, with very little conflict and some really sweet characters. Off-late, I’ve been watching a lot of teen mini-series, and most of them have so much drama and toxicity stuffed in, “Tall Girl 2” came as a breath of fresh air. There’s close to zero bullying and no back-stabbing. The makers include a little bit of everything – friendships, heartbreaks, sisterhood, parties, singing, dancing and anxiety attacks. It’s all about inner little demons this time around.
Like typical good-budget Netflix teen flicks, everything in ‘Tall Girl 2’ is pretty looking, with bright colors, sparkly lights everywhere, and everybody living, eating or dancing in gorgeous looking places. I am not going to give this a rating, especially because I enjoyed watching it a lot. I would recommend it to those looking for a fun teen movie to watch on the weekend. Like we say in India, this is a good ‘time-pass’ film.
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