My Girl 2
My Girl 2 is a 1994 American comedy-drama film starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Anna Chlumsky and Austin O'Brien. A sequel to My Girl (1991), its plot follows a now-teenaged Vada Sultenfuss, who travels from her home in suburban Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to find more information about her deceased mother.
|My Girl 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Howard Zieff|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer|
Joseph M. Caracciolo
David T. Friendly
|Written by||Janet Kovalcik|
by Laurice Elehwany
|Music by||Cliff Eidelman|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$28 million|
A book based on the script was written by Patricia Hermes in 1994.
In the spring of 1974, nearly two years following the events of the first film, Vada Sultenfuss sets out on a quest to learn more about her deceased biological mother. She has matured from the eleven-year-old hypochondriac to a more serious teenager seeking independence. Her father Harry and his new wife Shelly DeVoto, whom he dated in the first film, are expecting a baby. They still live in the Sultenfuss funeral home in Madison, Pennsylvania, while Harry's brother Phil has moved to Los Angeles, where he works as a mechanic. Gramoo, Vada's paternal grandmother, has since died. Vada still has her mood ring from two years earlier and wears it in memory of her late best friend Thomas J., who died from an allergic reaction to bee stings, inflicted while retrieving it for her after she had lost it.
To accommodate the new baby, Vada moves out of her bedroom and into Gramoo's old room, and it brings further problems with adjustment. Vada even jokingly thinks about getting her own apartment while spending a night out with her father. Vada is given a school assignment to write an essay on someone she admires but has never met. She decides to write about her late mother, but has few sources to go on. Harry tries to help, but because his first marriage lasted less than a year before Vada's mother Maggie died, his efforts are stifled. Shelly, who is adamant about keeping Maggie's memory alive in Vada's life, does her best to help too. Vada shares what little she knows about her mother, which is confined to a small box. Among its contents are programs of plays her mother was in, a passport, and a mystery paper bag with a date scribbled on it. Vada expresses her desire to travel someday, and after noticing from her passport that Maggie was originally from Los Angeles, Shelly suggests Vada go to Los Angeles to visit her Uncle Phil during her upcoming spring break so she can do research on Maggie. Harry immediately opposes the idea, claiming she's too young. However, he ultimately gives in and allows Vada to go to Los Angeles.
Upon arriving in L.A., Vada finds herself confronting a boy her age named Nick, who comes to pick her up at the airport. Nick is the son of Phil's girlfriend Rose, the owner of the car repair shop where Phil works. As a favor to Phil, though annoyed at first about sacrificing his own spring break, Nick helps Vada with the difficult search of learning more about her mother. Their investigation is stalled when Vada learns that her mother's old high school burned down, but she and Nick still manage to track down a yearbook from a year her mother attended.
Vada and Nick meet several people who knew her mother. Some of the things she finds out do not sit well with her, such as her mother being suspended from school for smoking. Two of these acquaintances have a look at the paper bag from Vada's small box of memories about her mother, but neither can decipher it. When another blurts out the name Jeffrey Pommeroy, revealing that Maggie was married to him just prior to meeting Harry, Vada panics. Thinking that he could be Vada's real father instead of Harry, Vada is crushed and wonders why her father never mentioned this person. Eventually, though with some hesitation, she goes to see Jeffrey, her mother's first husband. He provides Vada with valuable information to help with her essay, including home movies and the answer behind the date written on the paper bag. Seeing the home movies touches Vada, as she watches her mother act, as well as sing a song called "Smile".
Meanwhile, Phil has trouble proving his love to Rose after a man frequently shows up at the repair shop and continuously flatters her. When Phil finally gets the courage to show Rose what she means to him, he proposes. As Vada is ready to head home, she and Nick share a goodbye kiss at the airport before she boards the plane. In her backpack, she finds earrings Nick placed there for her newly pierced ears. When Vada returns home, she realizes Shelly just had a baby boy and heads to the hospital to see her new brother. To calm his crying, Vada sings "Smile" while holding him. Vada's essay on her mother receives an A+, and she hopes to share what she learned during her trip with her brother someday.
- Dan Aykroyd as Harry Sultenfuss, Vada's father and director at Sultenfuss funeral parlor.
- Jamie Lee Curtis as Shelly Sultenfuss, Harry's new wife who worked as his make-up artist in My Girl, before they were married.
- Anna Chlumsky as Vada Sultenfuss, the main character, now thirteen years old.
- Austin O'Brien as Nick Zsigmond, the son of Rose Zsigmond and Vada's special interest during her stay in Los Angeles.
- Richard Masur as Phil Sultenfuss, Harry's brother who has moved to Los Angeles since My Girl and works as an auto mechanic.
- Christine Ebersole as Rose Zsigmond, Phil's girlfriend who runs the auto shop he works at.
- John David Souther as Jeffrey Pommeroy, the first husband of Vada's mother, Maggie Muldovan, a brief marriage.
- Angeline Ball as Maggie Muldovan, Vada's mother (as seen in home movies Vada views when she visits Jeffrey).
- Aubrey Morris as Alfred Beidermeyer, a poet and university professor who had Maggie as a student and whose work Vada admires.
- Gerrit Graham as Dr. Sam Helburn, a cardiologist who frequently visits the auto shop, and captures Rose's attention.
- Anthony R. Jones as Arthur, Harry's assistant at the funeral parlor.
- Ben Stein as Stanley Rosenfeld, a photographer who knew Maggie in high school.
- Keone Young as Daryl Tanaka, a police officer who knew Maggie in high school.
- Richard Beymer as Peter Webb, a film director who knew Maggie.
- Jodie Markell as Hillary Mitchell, a psychic who knew Maggie and also Jeffrey Pommeroy.
The film debuted at number 4 at the U.S. box office, earning approximately $5 million during its opening weekend. It went on to gross $17,359,799 domestically and $11 million internationally for a worldwide gross of $28 million.
Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Times was critical of the film, writing that its "dubious scenario is made even more so by the treacly approach of director Howard Zieff and screenwriter Janet Kovalcik. Everything in this film is sugared with sermons about the importance of Being Yourself. Vada doesn't experience any twinges of rage at the loss of her mother or any misgivings about her quest. She's preternaturally mature."
Stephen Holden of The New York Times, however, commended it as "appealingly sentimental," adding: "Where the first movie forced Vada to face some jarring realities (a best friend's death, a grandmother's senility) and was heavily salted with mortuary humor, the atmosphere of the sequel is softer and more golden. Among other things, the film is a nostalgic valentine to Los Angeles in palmier days when the city still wore the mystique of a laid-back, post-hippie lotus land."
Roger Ebert awarded the film two out of four stars, noting that it "seems inspired mostly by the opportunity to recycle the title of a successful film. Scrutinizing the popularity of the first film, perhaps the producers thought it depended on gentle sentimentality, in which a likable young girl deals with the loss of loved ones. As an idea for a series, this is fairly dangerous... I think it's time to give Vada a break, before she becomes a necrophile, and starts spending all of her time upstairs like Emily Dickinson, writing bleak little poems." Joe Leydon of Variety deemed the film a "pleasant, painless and, as sequels go, genuinely ambitious," but conceded that it "may not be enough... to broaden its appeal beyond its obvious target audience of preteen and young adolescent girls (and, of course, tag-along parents and boyfriends)."
For her performance, Chlumsky won a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance by a Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture"; Thomson and O'Brien were also nominated for Young Artist Awards for their roles.
For several years Still My Girl was proposed as the third motion picture in the My Girl movie franchise and it was in development at Columbia Pictures. In his 2003 United Kingdom talk show interview with host Michael Parkinson, Dan Aykroyd stated that Columbia had an interest in getting this off the ground and strong interest in Anna Chlumsky returning to her role as Vada. In 2009, both Chlumsky and Aykroyd were still attached to the project but as the time passed it was becoming less and less likely that it would ever go into production. In April 2012, Chlumsky “put to rest” any rumors that such a film was in development.
- "Worldwide rentals beat domestic take". Variety. February 13, 1995. p. 28.
- Welkos, Robert (February 14, 1994). "Sales Cold Even as 'Ace' Stays Warm: Box office: Despite hopes that the Oscar nominations would fuel ticket sales, the East Coast's Arctic blast slows weekend moviegoing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- Pristin, Terry (February 15, 1994). "Weekend Box Office: 'Ace' Aces the Competition Again". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "My Girl 2 (1994)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Rainer, Peter (February 11, 1994). "MOVIE REVIEW : Sugar Is What 'My Girl 2' Is Made Of". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- Holden, Stephen (February 11, 1994). "Review/Film; A Mystery of Adolescence, Circa 1974". The New York Times. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (February 11, 1994). "My Girl 2". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Leydon, Joe (February 10, 1994). "My Girl 2". Variety. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
- My Girl 2. Columbia-TriStar Home Entertainment. 1996. ASIN 6303148255.
- Beierle, Aaron (December 19, 2002). "My Girl 2: Review". DVD Talk. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- "Headlines: Still My Girl". Dark Horizons. March 6, 2003. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Morgan, K.C. (July 27, 2009). "My Girl Star: All Grown Up". FilmCrunch. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- "Anna Chlumsky Declines My Girl 3". YouTube. April 27, 2012. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
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