Tall Girl 2 review – a hollow coming-of-age story

February 11, 2022
Jacob Throneberry 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
0.5

Summary

Tall Girl 2 tries to be a more relatable and understandable sequel, but it falls just as hard as the first.

Loading JustWatch data...
0.5

Summary

Tall Girl 2 tries to be a more relatable and understandable sequel, but it falls just as hard as the first.

This review of the Netflix film Tall Girl 2 does not contain spoilers. 

There were a lot of things about Tall Girl that never quite sat right with me. For starters, Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle), who is our titular “tall girl,” is only 6’1” — my high school had girls taller than that — and is made to be this giant dominating presence in both her school and her home. Her father, played by Steve Zahn, had an entire dinner to show her that she was “normal,” and it truthfully just always felt like a spoof that was trying to take itself seriously. There was a weird tonal imbalance that felt like they “went for it” in the visuals — things like angling the camera to make her seem taller — but not in the story.

In Tall Girl 2 we meet back up with Jodie as she is struggling between her newfound popularity, and her relationship with Jack Dunkleman, a.k.a Dunks (Griffin Gluck). While Tall Girl focused mainly on her height, this film seemingly follows more in line with your average high school “coming-of-age” story, which it seems to attempt from the opening with a recap from the first film with Jodie and Dunks. This felt like a weird way to start, but the more into this film I got, the more that intro constantly reminded me; for however bad the previous was, it at least had what felt like a story. From the first scene to the end, the film meanders so much that by the time it ends there is a real question as to what was just watched.

One aspect the writers try to go for, even if it is far too on-the-nose at times, is displaying teen anxiety and the fear of trying anything new. Where in the first one, Jodie had her classmates and family telling her what was wrong with her, now there is a voice in Jodie’s head that is attempting to sabotage everything she has worked so hard for: her relationship, her show, and her self confidence.

While Tall Girl 2 might have a few okay moments, most of their attempts at tackling this subject managed to feel extremely hollow. There is an effort to try to make this relatable to a younger audience, one that is dealing with these sorts of things on a daily basis, but there is a clear lack of understanding of what kids today go through. There is nothing new brought to the table when talking about teen anxiety, and even when it did work, it still only scratched the surface.

That probably could be because this isn’t that movie. This isn’t something like Eighth Grade that attempts to display the difficulties of growing up in today’s age, and the fear of being lonely and not accepted. It doesn’t want to get that deep because I don’t think it really knows how. To be honest, I don’t even truly know what this movie is. Other than trying to be a high school coming-of-age story, it also tries to be a romance film. The relationship between Jodie and Dunks winds up just being the vehicle that progresses the film, and again just felt like they were barely scratching the surface.

There never was a moment that this film felt like it was really trying to do anything other than fill Netflix’s “movie-a-week” promise. I can somewhat appreciate the filmmakers trying to put something of substance into the movie, but the lack of any depth left me with a sour taste as it ended.

This movie just never felt like it had a purpose. It didn’t have emotion, heart, and other than a few very minor scenes that I did laugh at, it was never a real comedy. It honestly just never felt complete by any means. I know Netflix is capable of making that film, as they have done it before — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before comes to mind — but this one, in particular, is the kind of thing that should have stayed on the cutting room floor the first time, let alone the second.

Tall Girl 2 tries to be a more relatable and understandable sequel, but it falls just as hard as the first. These films just have nothing new to say, and even when they try, it just feels hollow. I couldn’t latch onto any of the characters or their motives, whatever they even were. I think it’s time to lay this franchise, that never even should’ve got off the ground in the first place, to rest.

What did you think of the Netflix film Tall Girl 2? Comment below.