My Girl is nostalgic for many people who grew up in the '90s. It's an introspective film, but the classic coming-of-age movie is also quite bleak; the saddest scenes from My Girl make being young seem horrible - it's like the Grim Reaper haunts every character.
Though this is a children's film about the inevitability of life's end, many of My Girl's darkest moments focus on the way life grinds everyone down. Moreover, there are myriad of ways My Girl is more depressing than you remember: characters take from each other; they break each other's hearts; and everyone's straight up mean to senior citizens for no reason. My Girl is a '90s classic, but it's such a downer you may not ever want to watch it again.
Vada's Mother Passed While Giving Birth
Events start darkly in My Girl with 11-year-old Vada (Anna Chlumsky) giving a quick mention about her mother having passed while giving birth to her. Later, Vada's dad, Harry (Dan Aykroyd), reveals that his wife had actually perished two days after Vada's birth.
The child confuses the day, but she still seems affected by the loss.
Vada's Father Works As A Funeral Director
Harry lives and breathes the business of grief - so even if Vada hadn't lost her mother, she would still have to confront mortality constantly. Harry doesn't attempt to make the parlor appear glamorous, and he's not lighthearted or especially interesting as a character.
And though most of the family works in the business, they lack passion for what they do daily, making Vada's life all the more drab.
The Parlor Connects To Vada's House
Vada regularly sees bodies enter and leave her home - her father prepares them for services after all. The idea of mortality surrounds the young girl, possibly informing her that one day she, too, will pass.
Harry tries to keep his daughter shielded from his work. For example, he doesn't let her see the embalming process. However, the girl is still incredibly aware, realizing small caskets are for children, not short adults like her father claims.
Vada Struggles With Hypochondria
Vada claims she got jaundice at birth. At one point in the movie, she suggests there was a chicken bone lodged in her throat for three whole years. Neither of her ailments are real, though. She has hypochondria that's likely influenced by the feeling of loss that surrounds her and a need for attention.
Whenever a new subject enters her home, Vada finds out how the person passed, then she starts to exhibit similar symptoms. She sees a doctor regularly and tells him about her imagined maladies. And when her friend, Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin), succumbs to an allergic reaction to bee stings, Vada expresses sympathy by mirroring his response.