Archives for September 14, 2019

Tall Girl * Coming-Of-Age Story Dealing With Insecurity, Relationships, High School ++

Tall Girl is the 2019 Netflix original comedy about Jodi, the tallest girl in her school, who has never quite felt comfortable in her own statuesque skin. All of that changes when she falls for the handsome (and equally tall) foreign exchange student Stig who, of course, gets Jodi’s quirky, best, male friend Dunkleman and his hippie mom as a host family. As a result, Jodi gets embroiled in a surprising love triangle, which helps her realize she’s far more than her insecurities about her height have led her to believe. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “Netflix’s new movie Tall Girl is a wonderful coming-of-age story that touched my heart. It is really a perfect teen movie, as it deals with insecurity, friendships, relationships, high school, bullying and finding the confidence to believe in oneself.” See her full review below.

Tall Girl
By Abigail Zoe Lewis, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Netflix’s new movie Tall Girl is a wonderful coming-of-age story that touched my heart. It is really a perfect teen movie, as it deals with insecurity, friendships, relationships, high school, bullying and finding the confidence to believe in oneself.

What I particularly like about the film is that it has a great positive message that, even if you can’t change something about yourself, you should embrace your uniqueness since that is what makes you special. For instance, the main character Jodi, played by the amazingly multi-talented Ava Michelle, is very tall at 6 foot 1 inch, and has been bullied her whole life because of it.  Kids tease Jodi in school with comments like, “How’s the weather up there?,” which naturally hurts her feelings. However, one day, a tall and handsome foreign exchange student Stig (Luke Eisner) comes to her high school and takes an interest in Jodi. This relationship along with her best friend Dunkleman (Griffin Gluck) and her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter) help Jodi find the confidence to believe in and truly accept herself.

My favorite scene is when Jodi and Stig sing the song “Stand Tall” together. It is an original song that Luke Eisner wrote with his band Viola about his father fighting cancer. The song incorporates perfectly into this movie with new lyrics by both Luke and Ava that they recorded in a bathroom. There is also a lot of humor in the movie. Specifically, Dunkleman is very funny and does impressions of Kevin Hart and other people.

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The talent is off the charts in this movie.  Luke Eisner is incredibly handsome and has the smoothness of a young George Clooney. His Swedish is authentic and I just can’t get his gorgeous voice out of my head now. Ava Michelle’s voice is wonderful too; together they harmonize on a couple of songs that I just love listening to. Ava is also a great pianist. I also found Griffin’s humor hysterical and, after interviewing him with other actors from the cast, I could immediately see that he has stellar improv chops. Sabrina Carpenter perfectly captures a high school beauty queen. I don’t think there’s anything that Sabrina Carpenter cannot do!

What sticks out in mind about this movie is that it is of the utmost importance to believe in yourself. The movie also reminds us to never trade your integrity by just hanging out with the popular crowd.

This film has several fantastic, timeless moral messages including “accepting and believing in yourself and don’t compromise your integrity.” It’s perfect for teen audiences. I believe both boys and girls will like this movie and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 as there is some kissing in it. I give Tall Girl 4.5 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to see it again! It premieres on Netflix on September 13, 2019. Look for it.

Official trailer:

Catalina Island Museum Presents the Wrigley Centennial: An Island Jubilee and Offers Free Museum Admission on 9.21

Step back in time to 1919 and experience the Catalina Island Museum like never before during the Wrigley Centennial: An Island Jubilee on Saturday, September 21, 2019, beginning at 4 p.m. The Catalina Island Museum and Honorary Chairs Alison Wrigley-Rusack and Geoffrey Claflin Rusack invite you to a festive evening of entertainment, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auctions, celebrating the 100-year anniversary of William Wrigley Jr.’s purchase of the Santa Catalina Island Company. The event is also a fundraiser for the museum allowing it to continue to provide world-class exhibitions and educational programs to the island and its visitors.
Master of Ceremonies and Celebrity Auctioneer Matt Rogers will lead the live auction of one-of-a-kind items including an original hand signed letter by William Wrigley Jr., a beautiful plein air painting of “Mrs. Wrigley’s Garden” by the late Brian Stewart along with an exceptional Pasadena tour package, plus unique experiences, exciting performances and exclusive vacations including a getaway to Napa via private jet with a hot air balloon ride, dinner and more.
Enjoy cocktails from a full hosted bar accompanied by 1919 inspired heavy hors d’oeuvres at the museum, directly inspired by an all-Catalina sourced dinner enjoyed by Mr. and Mrs. Wrigley during their first visit to the island. Continue the evening with lively entertainment including music by Impromptu, led by the musical stylings of acclaimed composer and pianist Michael Mortilla, featuring violinist Nicole Garcia, bassist Marquis Howell III and Alex Burke on the vibraphone. Witness thrilling knife throwing by the incomparable Jack Dagger, death-defying sword swallowing by the unkillable Jenny Lynne, the golden throated Janet Klein singing songs inspired by Catalina and the magic of Ron Lynch during a 1920s style Vaudeville show.
In addition to honoring the William Wrigley Jr. family, the museum’s celebration will also acknowledge other key families that have made an impact on the island’s development and success. Descendants of D.M. Renton, Otis Shepard, John Gabriel Beckman, the Banning brothers, David Blankenhorn, George Shatto, Zane Grey and others have been invited.  Throughout the evening, all guests will have the opportunity to share their favorite Catalina memory and/or connection to the island in a video booth provided by Bill Banning and Alison Armstrong of Story Bank Productions.
Prior to the Jubilee celebration, all are welcome to enjoy free admission to the Catalina Island Museum from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 14th Annual Museum Day. Experience the world-class art and exhibitions already on display at the museum including Wrigley’s Catalina commemorating William Wrigley Jr. and his contributions to the Island, The History of Catalina Island exploring an island rich in events and personalities, MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship Awardee Elizabeth Turk’s Tipping Point exhibition highlighting and exploring extinction, and Esther Williams: The Swimming Queen of the Silver Screen chronicling Williams’ dazzling life from athlete swimmer to movie stardom. 
Tickets to Wrigley Centennial: An Island Jubilee are currently on-sale at $225 a person. To purchase tickets and for more information on pricing, events, and current exhibitions, visit
Free admission to the museum is available by visiting and selecting “Get A Ticket.” Each Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Guests do not need to be attending the Jubilee to enjoy free admission.

Credit: Catalina Island Museum.

San Diego Restaurant Week, September 22-29, 2019

You love San Diego Restaurant Week for the chance to try new flavors and visit old favorites, all while enjoying unbeatable deals from top eateries throughout the county. This edible extravaganza has become a highly anticipated tradition in the community because it isn’t just about delicious food and drinks, it’s about creating satisfying moments for you to remember beyond the dinner plate. And what’s more satisfying than having things go YOUR WAY? This September, SDRW invites you to create your own flavor on Restaurant Week! Now you can enjoy more adventure at every restaurant during the tastiest week of the year with custom deals crafted by each participating restaurant. Enjoy the same price points you’ve come to love, but with unique offerings every place you go!
That means you can:

  • Taste more of San Diego with new fast causal restaurants, cafes and bakeries now participating.  
  • Save more with new deals that include drinks, appetizers and more pairings, in addition to the classic 3-course menu offerings.
  • Enjoy more opportunities to take advantage of the week from brunches to lunches and fancy dinners to quick winners.

Indulge in the same delicious deals with more adventure as San Diego Restaurant Week returns from Sunday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 29th, with over 180 participating restaurants throughout San Diego County offering exclusive Make-It-Your-Way menus with three-course prix-fixe dinner prices at $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch prices at $10, $15, $20 or $25 per person. It’s Your Week to Remember—make it your way!
To search participating restaurants, preview menus, and for more information visit or call 619.233.5008.

Credit: McFarlane Promotions, Inc.