Starring: Anna Chlumsky, Macaulay Culin, Dan Aykroyd
Director: Howard Zieff
Running Time: 102 mins
My Girl is an American film about an 11-year-old girl living in a funeral parlour who begins growing up as she discovers more about the world that turns her life upside down.
For all of the legacy about this being a hugely emotional and impacting film, it’s not really so. Sure, there is some clearly heavy-going emotion here, but it’s more a simple coming-of-age film, and one that’s done with great realism, just not great drama.
For starters, the main reason that this is a good film is because it shows a young girl’s coming-of-age differently to most other productions. In general, these sort of films are largely based around a personal romance and nothing more, however this film looks at growing up in a much more realistic way.
There is some romance, but there’s also all of the little things that go on at that age, as well as some extraordinary circumstances that have led this girl to be particularly hurt deep down, something that adds to an overall interesting plot.
Anna Chlumsky is excellent in the lead role, and shows her character’s emotion throughout with impressive maturity and clarity that many 11-year-olds would fail to do in the same role, whilst supporting players including Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis also put in strong performances.
So, the cast is good and the story is interesting, however the reason that this film is, on the whole, not quite so impressive is due to its lack of really striking drama. This may be slightly more family-oriented than most coming-of-age dramas, and that’s why it is actually a lot lighter throughout, but that doesn’t excuse it from making what is a surprisingly undramatic film.
With all of the stuff going on in this girl’s life, you’d expect a little bit more turmoil and emotional devastation, a bit like other family dramas such as Bridge To Terabithia, however it never really arrives. As a result, this film just feels too safe and neutral, and whilst it may still be interesting, it’s not the most engrossing watch, and that’s why it gets a 7.2 from me.