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My Girl (1991)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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6.5
 / 10
5 votes
Genres:
Childhood Drama, Children's / Family, Comedy Drama, Coming-Of-Age
Director:
Howard Zieff Howard Zieff
Starring:
Dan Aykroyd Dan Aykroyd
Jamie Lee Curtis Jamie Lee Curtis
Macaulay Culkin Macaulay Culkin
Anna Chlumsky Anna Chlumsky
Richard Masur Richard Masur
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: September 05, 2007
Back before he physically assaulted two convicted felons or learned to fly off a cliff, Macaulay Culkin was the little boy allergic to bees, Thomas J. Sennett, in "My Girl", one of the sweetest, most charming and sentimental movies to emerge from the post-"Terms of Endearment" dramatic period. The film is nostalgic to a spectacular degree and it combines period music and period clothing with outstanding performances and a youthful sweetness.

The film stars Anna Chlumsky as Vada Sultenfuss, the daughter of an undertaker (Dan Aykroyd) who lives in her own little world. For starters, she's a hypochondriac, and thinks she is sick with whatever the latest corpse might have died from. She hears about it -- she has it. She is largely ignored by her father, her uncle (Richard Masur) and her mentally unstable grandmother (Ann Nelson) who loves to sing show tunes. Her best friend in the world is Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin) and they do everything together. She has a crush on her teacher (Griffin Dunne) and signs up to take a Summer English class just because he's teaching it. Everything changes for Vada when Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis) takes a job working as a cosmetologist for her father in the mortuary. Shelly and her dad start seeing one another, causing Vada to confront feelings she's never known before.

There is so much to love about this film. For starters, Anna Chlumsky gives one of the finest child performances we've yet to see as Vada, making her so eccentric and so likable. She carries the film on her small shoulders and has more than adequate supporting from Culkin as her best friend. Jamie Lee Curtis provides one of her very best performance as Shelly, and Dan Aykroyd is brilliant as Vada's grief stricken father Harry -- Aykroyd hits all the right notes here and really shows his dramatic chops. The ending of the film is one of the biggest tearjerkers you will be likely to see, and it really does tug at the heart strings in a big way.

Some people would say this film is too sentimental and too nostalgic, but I think it's just right. It gets sad, but it does so in a very true and honest way. Nothing seems forced and no one seems to be pulling out all the stops to drain you dry. It's all very natural. My favorite scene comes when Vada's grandmother gets loose and starts crooning in front of one of the funerals, in progress. I also enjoyed the scene where Shelly's ex-husband comes to the Fourth of July cookout looking to take back his camper, and gets a fist full of Aykroyd. "My Girl" is just a sweet film that is both entertaining and heartfelt. I love it for all the reasons listed above.

9/10.
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