“My Girl” is a beautiful coming-of-age story that effectively captures the music and culture of 1972 through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl. The story is actually quite strange as the main characters reside in a funeral home, but it provides the necessary components for this young girl to learn about friendship, death, her single father, her changing body, and love. The setting also creates the cruel irony that makes the story so memorable. This film does everything right, but it works because Anna Chlumsky gives such an honest performance. It is hard to believe that this was her feature film debut. Her acting is so confident and refined, melding childhood innocence with tough life experience. When she breaks down during the service, it is one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in any movie. Things like that really strike a chord when a great actor or actress puts their emotions out there, but the effect is so much deeper when it comes from an innocent child. I can’t remember the last time that a movie was able to make me cry four different times, this may be the only one that has. The film is well cast with veterans Dan Akroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis giving nice supporting performances. Even though Macaulay Culkin’s acting pales in comparison to Chlumsky, he perfectly looked the role of Thomas J. and was a walking promotion for the film as it piggybacked off of the success of “Home Alone” a year earlier. The critics had mixed feelings about it, but “My Girl” is a must-see coming-of-age story.
[Pictured: One of the best movie kisses of all time]