April showers bring May flowers! And what better way to spend your rainy days then with a new Netflix movie!
So, don’t worry. I got a good one for you this week.
This week I got the pleasure to watch the 1991 tragicomedy, My Girl. This film stars Macaulay Culkin (Thomas) and Anna Chlumsky (Vada). It follows 11-year-old Vada as she faces an abundance of ups and downs, too many for a girl her age.
The film opens up in the summer of 1972 with an awkward widowed father who is trying to figure how exactly to raise a daughter by himself. Vada is shown to be more of a tomboy and certainly a hypochondriac. Vada’s father works as a funeral director which has led her to develop an obsession with death. Pretty morbid for an 11-year-old if you ask me.
I may also add that Vada is oh so dramatic, which makes her character that much funnier. My favorite scene would be when she gets her period for the very first time and is convinced that she is dying. Us girls can all relate to Vada.
Vada’s old soul also shines through as she cares for her grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimers. Vada would most definitely identify as one of those children who grew up too quickly. But, through all of her adult like duties, she still has time to act like a kid with her best friend Thomas. Thomas and Vada make a great pair, though they will constantly remind us that they are just friends. Thomas is allergic to virtually everything and Vada has the most wonderous mind. You can only imagine the adventures these two take on.
Vada eventually forms a close relationship with the new makeup artist at her father’s funeral parlor, Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis). Shelly serves as the female figure in Vada’s life and she tends to look for her for guidance. Young Vada also develops a major crush on her fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Bixler. She finds out that Mr.Bixler is teaching an adult poetry class over the summer and is intensely intrigued. However, most 11-year-olds don’t have enough money to pay for such a class. Sneaky Vada trespasses into Shelly’s trailer and steals some of the money that she has kept hidden in a cookie jar.
Vada just has the most innocent face that it is hard to get mad at her!!
Vada starts to attend Mr.Bixler’s classes and goes through a lot of emotional triumphs. The class suggests that they meditate before each class begins. They sit in a round circle and share their ‘souls’ with one and another. Vada comes to the conclusion that she had indeed killed her mother but her mom died just two days after giving birth to her. Now, no 11-year-old should ever have to consider that. That thought alone demonstrates how beyond her years Vada is.
Shortly, Shelly and Vada’s dad start dating. Of course, Vada is extremely angry towards Shelly and a tad bit jealous. Her dad barely showed her much attention throughout her life and now he is showering Shelly with it. After witnessing her father and Shelly kiss, Vada is curious. She convinces Thomas to kiss her even though he fought her on it for a long time. They share such an innocent first kiss (we all remember those). And after they start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to forget what just happened. Such innocent souls.
During one of their many adventures, Vada and Thomas come across a hornet’s nest hanging from the tree. Boys want to prove their masculinity, yes even at 11! So, Thomas decides to knock it down. Vada loses her favorite ring in the process and the two try looking for it but are soon swarmed by the hornets so they decide to leave. As any good best friend would, Thomas returns to scene so he can find Vada’s ring. I know, awwwwwwww! But, the hornets are still hovering and fully attack Thomas.
This part hurts the most.
Thomas is allergic to bees, so certainly he could not handle all of the stings. Thomas shortly dies.
I’ll give you a second to grab your tissue box and calm yourself down.
After hearing the news of the death of her best friend,Vada decides to lock herself in her room and completely isolate herself. She eventually decides to leave on the day of Thomas’s funeral, which is happening in her very own living room. No one could expect an 11-year-old to handle this well. When she comes face to face with Thomas in her casket, her emotions get the best of her and she starts yelling in the midst of the ceremony.
Her famous line is “He can’t see without his glasses!”. It still gets to me.
After fleeing the funeral, Vada heads to Mr.Bixler’s house in hope for some comfort. She pleads for him to let her live with him and eventually finds out that he is engaged. This crushes Vada. What more can this little girl take! So, she runs to her and Thomas’s favorite hangout to free all of her emotions and thoughts. Slowly but surely, Vada finds security and guidance in Shelly once again and begins to accept the fact that she will most likely become her stepmother. Thomas’s death also enhances the bond between Vada and her father. He explains to her that her mother’s death was no means her fault and starts to share an abundance of memories with her. This helps Vada deal with her own grief.
Towards the end of the summer, Vada and her father encounter Thomas’s mother on the street. This part filled my heart the most. Thomas’s mother gives Vada back her ring, the one that Thomas went searching for by the hornet’s nest. Through the greatest tragedy, he still managed to get her ring. Vada is such a wise little girl. She assures Thomas’s mother that her mom will take care of Thomas in heaven. On the last day of writing class, Vada courageously shows up and reads a poem she has written about the loss of her best friend.
This movie may break your heart a little but it certainly patches it up. Anyone, despite your age, could learn a lot from Vada. Her strength is contagious and after this film you will feel so empowered.
As always, I recommend this movie to all of my fellow movie lovers. You will not be disappointed. This is Anna Chlumsky’s first major role and she did an outstanding job. I will always give credit to young actors and their amazing talents. Pretty envious as well! So, the next time it rains (which I promise will be soon) make some popcorn and go watch My Girl! But, do not forget the tissues!!!! You will be needing them.