The movie is narrated by Goldblum's character, whose name is Dexter, and who has spent five years as "the tall guy" in a two-man show starring the rude and obnoxious short comedian Ron Anderson (Rowan Atkinson). Anderson hogs the spotlight so much that the audience hardly even realizes there's a stooge in the cast. Dexter meanwhile bicycles home to his rented room in the flat of a nymphomaniac, whose lovers paddle nakedly through the kitchen at odd hours in search of a glass of water.
One day Dexter finds himself at the hospital and is riven by a thunderbolt of love for the nurse, whose name is Kate Lemon, although his mind insists on remembering her as Kate Tampon. Desperate to ask her for a date, he signs up for a series of inoculations for a fictitious trip to Morocco, and eventually she does go out with him, and up to her room with him, and they roll passionately across oranges and stale Wheetabix cubes and are in love.
All of this would not in itself make "The Tall Guy" worth seeing, despite the charm of Thompson and the drollery of Goldblum, if it were not for the direction by Mel Smith and the script by Richard Curtis, who assume that their audience has a certain level of intelligence and information. That makes the movie more fun even for those viewers who do not always know what they are referring to.
For example: The typical Hollywood script assumes that its audience was born yesterday and knows nothing. There are no topical references to anyone or anything. Events occurring more than 10 years previously are tacitly assumed not to have happened at all. Even the names of small cities are replaced with the names of larger ones, to avoid giving offense. References to the names of authors, poets, painters or presidents are left out if at all possible, although sports figures are very occasionally allowed to slip in. No character is now, or ever has been, a member of any political party.