I hadn’t seen My Girl for decades, but when it popped on Netflix I knew I had to see it with my kids. So, last Saturday night after a sumptuous lunch at Crepes and Waffles on 140 street here in Bogota, we curled up on the couch to watch this coming of age classic. My kids of course hadn’t seen it, but I knew I was in for a real treat to see their reactions by movie end. Anyone that has seen this movie will know what I mean. There are so few movies which can present young children circumstances about life, death, romance and personal connections as effectively as this movie. The only other ones which spring to mind is Stand By Me and Running on Empty both which star the sadly missed – River Phoenix. The latter movie was reviewed here.
What flawed me was reading My Girl has just a 50% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Let that sink in.
How do I know if a Movie has aged well or not? Watch how people respond to it in a distinct epoch.
I have watched Ingmar Bergman’s Persona twice now in two recent viewings on the Film and Arts channel. I felt I was watching a different movie each time I saw it. I.E. – Classic and for that reason Bibi Andersson in sunglasses in that iconic scene heads my blog.
Also, seeing My Girl again after all these years later through the lense of my children felt anew and as relevant as ever. I thought perhaps after my children’s recent consumption of movies featuring The Rock, Adam Sandler and Vin Diesel (blah, de blah) they might have found My Girl a bit too saccharine for their tastes.
1972 (Set in). Vada Sultenfuss (played by Anna Chlumsky) is an intelligent, bubbly, hypochondriacal 11-year old girl. Her father, Harry (Dan Aykroyd), is a mortician and a widower. Her best friend is Thomas J Sennett (Macaulay Culkin). Then her father hires a new receptionist, Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis), and life will never be the same again.
My Girl is fictitious and it is a splendid story delivered at the height of Hollywood’s prowess. I get it. But the archetipo ‘My Girl‘ is real. I’ll present her to you below in all her radiance alongside ‘My Boy‘ (futbolista):
By the movie’s end, I saw my daughter above crying uncontrollably and I motioned her to me and we cradled each other. My boy – Jesus Mateo also was a dribbling idiot on my left and we all watched it together…. This was how movies used to be. No senseless P-G rated killings and tough-men violence to appease the masses.
You just sat on your couch as a family and watched great-meaningful art on screen. That quality of quaint drama storytelling has almost been ridden from modern movie-telling for children. Now, it’s just watered-down inoffensive mish-mash which doesn’t make the least bit difference to one’s soul.