Netflix Rant of the Week: Tall Girl

By Samantha Sainz-Valdes


I’ve watched a lot of trash films but at least I can say the majority of them aren’t a complete waste of time. Not that they were good mind you, but at least I could enjoy making fun of them. I couldn’t even say that about Tall Girl.

Tall Girl - Cast Promo Pic.jpg

Tall Girl, follows Jodi Kreyman (Ava Michelle) as she tries to learn to love herself, more specifically, being tall. Jodi has been mocked her entire school career for her height, and in her home life, she has to deal with the legacy of her mother and an older sister who were both the most popular girls in their high school. While the movie's intentions were to inspire girls to rise above the hate and embrace what makes them unique, it failed to execute it properly. It quietly sneaks this message at the end as if the writer's themselves forgot what the main point of the movie was. Every trope in the book was used when it came to making this: Attractive but insecure protagonist, Black Best Friend (BBF), Childhood Best friend (who quite possibly has a crush on the protagonist), Hot Love Interest, and Mean Girl. The film is riddled with bad characters that you are not even sure who to root for.

Tall Girl - She's a Giant!.jpg

Starting with Jodi, although she has been made fun of by her peers for being tall, one would not really classify her as being a good person. She constantly pushes away her friends and family that have been supportive of her, and never even apologizes for it. Her best friend, Fareeda (Anjelika Washington), has done nothing but stick up for her since they met, and has also told her countless times to embrace who she is. Despite all that, Jodi only feels validation once Hot Love Interest and foreign exchange student, Stig, tells her that she is pretty and kisses her.

As a viewer, it is frustrating to have to side with a character that takes the people around them for granted. The only evidence of Jodi being kind of a decent friend was when Fareeda mentioned how Jodi was able to convince her parents to let her go to Fashion school instead of being a doctor, and it did not have much impact because we don't actually see it in the movie.

In regards to the childhood friend, Jack (Griffin Gluck), the trope usually has a very caring and selfless personality. Funny enough, this is a half-true in the movie. While it is clear that he genuinely cares for Jodi, he is not above sabotaging her love life to his benefit. When our Hot Love Interest shows that he is attracted to Jodi and would like to date her, Jack goes to any lengths to keep them apart. After Jack has successfully manipulated Hot Love Interest, Stig, he inevitably gets the girl and we fade to black.

SHE’S SO TALL

SHE’S SO TALL

There are some weak points in the story that seem simple in hindsight. Jodi was being bullied for her height but the way they wrote her character her entire persona was her height that is all she obsessed over. What would be more preferable is that although she was being teased, she would prove to her classmates that she is more than her height. That through her kindness and her intelligence and her talents she was able to see her own self-worth. Instead of her being rescued by a knight in shining armor.

Structurally Tall Girl is a weak film. It’s a film that doesn’t sate the levels of enjoyment of even a basic episode of Spongebob Squarepants circa 2019. This is the reason that it is Entertainment Stew’s Rant of the week.


Streaming Pick of the Week: The Boys

By John Magee

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I wasn’t sure what kind of show I was going to be watching when I first turned on Amazon Prime’s original show “The Boys”, I’d seen the trailers for it so I knew it was a dark take on superheroes but other than that and the show’s R rating I didn’t really know what I was in for. This is a problem “The Boys” solve very quickly into their pilot episode.

The show opens on Hughie, a salesman at what is essentially the show’s version of a Best Buy. His workday is interrupted by the arrival of his girlfriend Robin and the two flirt and discuss the possibility of moving in together. The camera cuts to a close-up, slow-motion shot of Hughie’s face which is suddenly covered in blood, the audience then sees that Robin is now a fine mist of blood and guts, and a man in a blue superhero uniform stops, comments on how he has to keep running and super-speeds away. The show then follows Hughie’s journey to finding closure for Robin’s death and hopefully holding the hero who killed her responsible.

It was in this scene that I finally understood “The Boys” for the first time and became completely hooked by it. This show is an attempt to show what a world with superheroes in it would really look like, there have been dark and gritty takes on superheroes like the Watchmen, and some of the early DCEU movies focused on how our world would view and possibly corrupt superheroes but “The Boys” isn’t trying to do anything like that which is why it is so interesting. For as dark as this show gets it is often more a dark comedy than gritty realism.

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This is best exemplified by comparing this show with HBO’s Watchmen series, even though the show hasn’t even aired yet there are clear themes that will be important in the show. What is the role superheroes play in this society and should they continue to serve in that role or leave policing to the institutions? What happens when those institutions fail to police people justly? Both very serious questions that can be asked of a world with superheroes in it, but this is where “They Boys” differs from other “dark” takes on superheroes.

It doesn’t have an overall message it just creates a world where people have powers and it looks at what might naturally happen next. Despite not having an overarching message through the show “The Boys” does bring up relevant social issues. Superheroes are celebrities in the show and when an aspiring young superheroine Annie is asked to join the seven we learn a little about the pageant life that young girls with powers can get sucked into. When Annie does finally make it to the big leagues of superheroics and joins “The Seven”, this shows version of The Justice League, her first experience of being in the group is a sexual assault where she is coerced into having sex with another team member, a moment that has been heavily influenced by the recent Hollywood sexual assault scandals.

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Overall “The Boys” is an interesting, often disturbing, and incredibly captivating show that is much closer in tone to something like Game of Thrones as opposed to the Avengers, it certainly a show I will keep my eye on for any future seasons.

 






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