BUT WHOSE "GIRL" IS SHE?
I just watched "My Girl" again. I think it's a wonderful movie, and Anna Chlumsky giving one of the best child actor performances I've ever seen. But one thing really bothered me. The title - whose point-of-view is it from? Whose girl is she?
- •Harry Sultenfuss (Dan Aykroyd)Vada is Harry's daughter. So yes, of course, she is literally his girl. But I don't buy this as the answer to my original question. Harry as a father is distant, aloof. Vada is his daughter, but is she his "girl"? I don't think so.
- •Shelly DeVoto (Jamie Lee Curtis)Vada doesn't like Shelly at first, but unlike with her father, Vada and Shelly *do* share a bond by the film's end. They bond over lady things, like makeup and menstruation (this sounds more regressive and sexist than it actually is). Vada and Shelly have an understanding of each other, yes, but at no point is Vada ever Shelly's girl.
- •Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin)All signs point to Thomas J. here. He is her best friend, they share a first kiss. They are practically inseparable. The poster is of the two of them (although he is oddly sans glasses, and if we know anything about Thomas J., it's that he can't see without his glasses). So Vada is Thomas J.'s girl. Or is she? Thomas J. dies an hour into the movie. He doesn't narrate it from the grave. He can't be the "me" in question. He's dead. 🐝🐝🐝
- •Vada's MomAlso dead.
- •Mr. BixlerVada loves Mr. Bixler. She even tells him so after she runs out of Thomas J.'s funeral. But there's no way she's his girl. Sorry, Vada.
- •The AudienceI can almost buy this one. We love Vada. We want her to be okay. So, in a sense, she is OUR girl. But there's your problem. The movie is called "MY Girl." Not "OUR Girl." So if not us, then who?
- •VadaThis is the only acceptable answer. Vada is both subject and object of the movie "My Girl." The film opens on Vada addressing the camera. This is her story. "My Girl" is a coming-of-age picture, a story about a girl becoming a young woman. A story about a girl coming into her own, and becoming self-possessed in a way she never had been before. Self-possessed. Owning one's genuine being. Embracing who you truly are. My Girl.