Happy 25th Anniversary, 'My Girl'! What the Coming-of-Age Flick Taught Us About Growing Up
By Emily Krauser
It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the story of precocious, death-obsessed Vada Sultenfuss forever warmed our hearts in My Girl.
The classic flick told the story of 11-year-old Vada's (Anna Chlumsky) summer in 1972, introducing us to her "allergic to everything" best friend, Thomas J. Sennett (Macaulay Culkin), funeral-owner father Harry Sultenfuss (Dan Akroyd), and makeup artist-turned-dad's girlfriend (and then Harry's wife in the sequel, My Girl 2), Shelly (Jamie Lee Curtis).
My Girl was (and let's be honest, still is) the Stand By Me for '90s tween girls, a coming-of-age drama we understood was about us too. Vada talked like a tiny adult who was just trying to learn more about her late mother, navigate her father's new love life, and drag Thomas on adventures.
After all, the beloved flick taught us plenty about navigating all the best and strangest parts about growing up, including how sweet a first kiss can be:
(Fun fact: This sweet smooch between BFFs Thomas and Vada was Culkin's first kiss ever.)
Tricks to being the coolest kid in the neighborhood:
The importance of self-esteem and not listening to dumb dumb boys (but also never taking Shelly's advice on that whole "you can never wear enough blue eyeshadow" thing):
And, most importantly, just how heartbreaking it is to experience loss and the painful stages of grief (Vada was understandably inconsolable after Thomas, who truly was allergic to everything, died after knocking down a hive and getting stung by hundreds of bees.):
ET spoke to Chlumsky -- now a lovely, all grown up 35-year-old actress who stars on Veep -- when she was just a 10-year-old filming My Girl, and she had a pretty great take on working with Caulkin, who was already famous for starring in Home Alone.
"His personality is a lot like the one in the movie, and he was really nice," she said. "And I didn't look to him as being a movie star -- I looked to him as being a new person that I'm meeting and a new friend."
Take a look back at My Girl with a young Chlumsky and ET in the video below.