TALL GIRL 2 (2022)
I haven’t seen the first film, but was intrigued to see the sequel as I’m a fan of Emily Ting’s work (notably Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, which I highly recommend.
Ava Michelle is back as tall girl Jodi and most of the cast are back as well, and it’s fun seeing Steve Zahn playing her dad. The plot primarily focuses on Jodi’s relationship with her bestie-turned-boyfriend Jack (Griffin Gluck), whose significant height difference is something they embrace. But when a new hot ‘it boy’ Tommy (Jan Luis Castellanos) arrives and is paired with Jodi in a school musical, a series of misunderstandings causes a rift between them. It’s all pretty standard high school happenings, some work well and some don’t.
As someone who didn’t go to high school in the US, I’m not sure how accurate of a portrayal this movie is of real teenage lives, though I’d imagine peer pressure and bullying are universal things most teens have to maneuver and fight against. One thing for sure, I can relate more to the story and characters here better than the more popular Netflix teen rom-com ‘franchise’ Kissing Booth 2 that’s so mind-numbingly dumb and shallow I could barely finish.
Michelle is a decent actress despite not being the most expressive. I actually like the actor playing Tommy and there’s genuine chemistry between him and Jodi. The romance between Stig (Luke Eisner) and Fareeda (Anjelika Washington) who are now part of Jodi’s circle of friends is cute albeit seems a bit forced at times. I’d rather see more of Fareeda’s fashion entrepreneur venture which is both a cool and inspiring thing for teens and adults can aspire to. Stig’s Swedish sister (Johanna Liauw) adds a fun energy to the movie, which reminds me of a time I had a Danish exchange student stay at our house for a few months while I was in high school.
Ting’s direction is sprightly and well-paced, and the cinematography is gorgeous to look at. I particularly enjoy the night rehearsal dance scene between Jodi & Tommy. I do wish Ting would work on her own projects again as Netflix romantic comedies must follow a certain formula, in addition to this one being a sequel. Overall though, Tall Girl 2 is a pretty entertaining movie with a positive message about self-acceptance and valuing true friendships and sisterhood.
TALL GIRL 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
7 DAYS (2022)
This is another FYC screener I got through Film Independent last year. I have to be honest I was curious about it since Karan Soni is the taxi driver in Deadpool. Filmmaker Roshan Sethi makes the most of the Covid-themed premise and uses it in a clever and amusing way. The two leads Ravi and Rita are set up on a date by their old-fashioned Indian parents, despite neither having anything in common. As if that wasn’t awkward enough, Covid lockdown suddenly happens and the two are forced to shelter in place together.
Soni and Geraldine Viswanathan actually have a sweet and funny chemistry together despite playing two polar opposites. Rita has a much more progressive way of thinking than Ravi who’s far more traditional and holds the belief that girls ought to behave a certain way. So that situation itself to something comedic, especially as Rita deliberately does things to baffle and exasperate Ravi. Rita herself is dealing with her own romantic disappointment, which is subtly revealed through phone conversations with Mark Duplass doing the voice-over cameo. I’ve become a big fan of Viswanathan who’s really fun to watch here, so I’m going to seek out what else she’s in.
Shot in just one week in a single location, the film actually does a good job of keeping me engaged throughout. Plus the movie is only 1 hour and 26 minutes long, I always applaud filmmakers who can tell a good story succinctly and efficiently. I wish the ending were better though, sadly it falls into the same familiar rom-com tropes. It’s too bad since the scenes that happen leading up to it had been so affecting. That said, there are intriguing ideas here that work quite well, so it’s definitely well worth your time.
7 Days is now available to rent on VOD.
4 thoughts on “Rom-Com Double Reviews: Tall Girl 2 and 7 Days”
I heard about Tall Girl 2 being just as bad as the first. I think it’s that film and all of these other shitty movies is why Netflix is losing subscribers.
Well, Netflix rom-coms are kind of templated so whoever they hired would have to follow a certain formula. That said I quite enjoyed it without having to see the first movie. I highly recommend the director’s first film though, it’s really good! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3700804/
I remember seeing a trailer of the Tall Girl a while back, thought it’s one of those cheesy series on Netflix, didn’t realize it’s a feature film. Rom-com is not my thing so I’ll probably wouldn’t watch either of these movies.
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