A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
All the parental figures (stepmom included) are loving, involved, and none is a pushover on discipline. The overall arc of the story is positive, about finding out who you are and being proud of your roots. But on the road to the conclusion, one character lies to seem more important to classmates, a police officer is persuaded to break the law, an uncle encourages his niece to keep a secret, and two young teens sneak out at night to sightsee in Los Angeles.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A 13-year-old character observes of her commitment-phobic uncle who lives with his girlfriend "When sex is involved it's always a special circumstance." A teenage boy talks about a pinup model during class, two 13-year-olds share a romantic kiss.
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Mild swearing by adults and kids.
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Products & Purchases
Jostens Yearbooks gets a plug in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A pot-smoking hippie is seen and discussed by two teenage characters.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the main character lost her mother at a young age and her best friend more recently, and her father is an undertaker, so there is a rather large shadow of death over the story. A stepmother is affectionate, understanding, and loving. Two young teens sneak out at night unaccompanied, and a girl gets her ears pierced without asking permission. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For sheer emotional oomph, the original My Girl is a hard act to follow, despite the return of its top-notch cast in this so-so sequel. Vada's interest in knowing more about her mom is understandable, and the storytelling that pulls back the curtain on Maggie Muldovan's (Angeline Ball) life is well-conceived. Not one but two loving families are depicted, and when the kids break the rules and parents have to punish them, the kids are sincerely apologetic. Set in 1974, the costumes, sets, and soundtrack really ground Vada's story in the time it was set.
But in the end, just putting the same characters together back on screen can't create chemistry if the story doesn't grab the listener. And this story is slow and sometimes predictable. It's nice to see Vada mature as a daughter and friend, and the awakening of her first romantic feelings are sweet, but ultimately the only one with a stake in Maggie Muldovan's story is Vada herself. Given the twin subject matter of adolescent romance and a parent's death (and secrets,) this movie is best targeted at the 11 and up crowd.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.