There is little to dislike about My Girl. It has a charming cast, a decent story at it’s core and a likable, if somewhat annoying, main character. As a coming of age story, there is little that My Girl does wrong. There is also little that it does to blow you away or make you feel anything new.
That isn’t the fault of the great cast, which of course begins with Anna Chlumsky as Vada. She is the right balance of inquisitive, confident, cheeky but undoubtedly troubled. For a young actress this is a lot to handle but Chlumsky manages it effortlessly, matching the stellar cast around her.
By this point, Macaulay Culkin had already become somewhat a star so his ability to be cute and deliver a killer line was well-known. To his credit, this isn’t Kevin from Home Alone and he plays the geek very well, a role he could have had more luck with if his career had gone into that direction.
The adults offer great support too. Dan Ackroyd does little that wrong and Jamie Lee Curtis seems to go backwards in age, playing the hip new inclusion to Vanda’s life. There is a lot of positive influences throughout the movie.
This doesn’t save it from being quite generic though. It doesn’t offer any great moments within the “coming-of-age” genre. You can see where the story is going and its more of a gentle journey through the lives of others than an engrossing story which will want you willing the character through.
You could even argue that it ticks the “coming-of-age” boxes. Distant Dad, new positive influence, tear-inducing trauma and moment of personal triumph. We’ve seen it all before but in some cases done much better.
It’s a testament to My Girl that it packages the story very well and you’ll never be bored. It’s never too cheesy, the acting elevates the story and you want the characters to achieve their goals and to end with happiness, which is more than other movies can often say.
Overall, My Girl is saved by it’s cast. The titular Girl is played very well by Anna Chlumsky and the support around her helps hide the fact that this movie isn’t really offering anything new. it’s a generic, feel-good “coming-of-age” story which might make you cry but will hardly stay with you afterwards.
Rating – 3
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