"My Girl 2" (1994)

Rating: PG
Genre: Rom-Com
Directed By: Howard Zieff
Written By: Janet Kovalcik
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

For a class project, Vada (Anna Chlumsky), now 13 years old, must write about someone she hasn't met but still admires, so she chooses her late biological mother. In order to learn more, Vada journeys to Los Angeles on a school break to stay with her uncle Phil (Richard Masur). Nick (Austin O'Brien), Phil's girlfriend's son, reluctantly agrees to show Vada around the city. But, before long, he's wrapped up in her search for truth.

This is a decent sequel. It’s quite different from the original, particularly since they venture to another Los Angeles this time round. But also a slight shift in genre. The previous film was more of a coming of age film, while this is moving closer towards being a romantic comedy of sorts. Vada is older now, she’s found a new friend who is now a girl (and who we met towards the end of the first film), she’s interested in boys and jewellery and slowly beginning to leave her tomboyish streak behind, though not entirely. She’s about to get a new step-brother or sister, as Shelley has now become a solid edition to the family. I still love their relationship, even in this film. Both have mutual respect for one another and Shelley always makes it clear that Vada can talk to her about anything, girl stuff, her biological mother, her feelings, anything. Her relationship with her father has improved too.

What I liked most about it was how much detail it included from the first film. I was afraid that because of the time pass of two years and the introduction to many new characters, it might have abandoned some big plot moments of the first film. But it didn’t, it delved into the consequences of the first film’s ending in a way that was very fitting and sensitively done. Even Vada’s going to stay with Uncle Phil – we had already met Uncle Phil in the first film, so his character was already set up, and not newly created purely for the sake of aiding the new plot. I don’t personally like films that use this tactic in sequels.

The main plot of this film is Vada’s search to learn more about her mother. Vada finds her mother’s old secondary school year book and begins asking around and locating some of the people who are in it who could provide information or stories. During an encounter with one such individual, we actually get to see Vada’s mother in some home videos. I liked this element actually, Vada’s mother was such a prominent character, while never seen and only talked about, in the first film, this development was nice both for us as the audience and for Vada as she had never met her.

Vada achieves all of these endeavours with the help of new-character, Nick, by her side. He is quite reluctant and unimpressed to be hanging around with her first, but at a certain point his character shifted completely in his attitude towards when he realised he liked her. It was sweet but…In my opinion too sudden of a shift and the dialogue became a bit…cringy/corny for my liking…But, hey, this is just my opinion! Others will think their relationship was quite sweet, I’m sure.

I think you could get away with watching this film if you hadn’t seen the original. Obviously, the characters and their new situation will mean so much more after having seen it, but this film is separate enough from its predecessor to stand on its own. I prefer the original, but I enjoyed this film too. 

Final Rating: 2/5 Stars