"My Girl," the sophisticated, somewhat sugary coming-of-age drama released November 27th, 1991, is turning 25 this year.
The movie, which stars Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky (25 years later, who would have thought she'd be the one with the successful career?), dealt with death and love and finding yourself, all set against a honeyed, nostalgia-choked period setting. Ah, the '70s, when what you really had to worry about was bees. Simpler times, simpler times.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie (and our continued, slow lurch towards the grave), here are seven things you probably don't know about "My Girl."
1. Child Psychologists Were Worried It Would Wreck ChildrenOne of the larger plot points in "My Girl" is (spoiler alert for a movie that's 25 years old) Macaulay Culkin dies after getting stung by many, many bees. It's a powerful moment and adds to the movie's themes of maturation and personal growth. But, back in 1991, child psychologists were worried about the damage it would inflict on children who watched the film. Yes, seriously.
A Baltimore Sun article from November 17, 1991, proclaimed that "some child psychologists are worried" about the movie due to the Culkin character's death, especially since the film was being released after the global phenomenon that was "Home Alone." Please keep in mind that 1991 was the same year "Silence of the Lambs" became an unexpected blockbuster and would go on to sweep the Academy Awards. But, yes, let's worry about the bees.
2. It Won an MTV Movie Award for Best KissBack when the MTV Movie Awards were more of a thing (and much, much more fun), "My Girl" won the award for Best Kiss. Years later, Chlumsky would marvel that her first kiss (ever!) would win an award. (It was Culkin's first onscreen kiss, for those keeping score at home.) And even more years later, we would all marvel that the MTV Movie Awards are still around.
3. Anna Chlumsky Hasn't Spoken to Macaulay Culkin in More Than 20 YearsWhen E! caught up with Clumsky, who is having an incredible second wind thanks to parts in television series like "Veep" and "Hannibal" (where -- it's all connected! -- she played a Clarice Starling stand-in) and movies like "In the Loop" and "The End of the Tour," in 2013, she admitted that she hasn't spoken to her "My Girl" costar in 20 years. Considering his somewhat outrageous behavior in the years since becoming a child superstar, it's not all that surprising. But it's still sad.
4. It Inspired a Weird Video GameIn 2014, the film inspired an online video game rendered in the classic 8-bit style. In the game, you play as Culkin's character and are directed, as the game begins, to "Accept your fate." And yes, there is a run-in with bees. UK paper The Guardian described the moment when the bees attack you in a surprisingly philosophical tone: "At this point, realise that you're merely delaying the inevitable. You take your hands off the keyboards and let the bees attack Culkin at will. He dies. Anna Chlumsky wails: 'HE WAS GONNA BE AN ACROBAT!' The game ends." Yikes.
5. The Original Title Was TerribleAccording to the semi-reliable IMDb page for "My Girl," the movie's original title was "Born Jaundiced," which is just terrible. Producers then offered up $500 to whichever Imagine Entertainment employee could come up with the best title. (Imagine Entertainment is Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's company, by the way.) Since the movie is largely set in a funeral parlor, many suggested things like "Mourning Glory" (pun!), "In Lieu of Flowers," and "Dearly Departed" which, arguably, are all just as horrible as "Born Jaundiced." It was Grazer who came up with "My Girl," probably because he was thinking about all of the trailers and TV spots that could trot out the Temptations song of the same name. It's unclear whether or not he took the $500 and subsequently spent it on hair-care products.
6. Thrash Rock Band Anthrax Loved ItApparently, Anthrax, the noisy rock band whose music inspires countless bored husbands to head bang in their cars on the way to the accounting firm where they work, was a huge fan of the movie. There's a line of dialogue spoken by Griffin Dunne's teacher character in the film (Chlumsky is in love with him, but Culkin said it wouldn't be fair because he'd give her straight As -- ah, youth), "Be dangerous and unpredictable ... and make a lot of noise." At the end of their 1993 album "Sound of White Noise," singer John Bush says that exact phrase. Incredible. Also, I had to go to the Ultimate Metal message boards to chisel this nugget out for y'all, so please give thanks.
7. The House They Used for the Funeral Home Is Supposedly HauntedHidden inside an Orlando Weekly article about the history of the building that served as the funeral home in the film is this tantalizing detail: The house, which for many years was known as The Stanford Inn, was supposedly haunted. According to the highly scientific Apollo Paranormal website, in 2010, a paranormal investigation took place and the evidence (weird sounds, blurry photos) speak for themselves. Actually they don't speak to anything at all, but it's still fun to think about. According to the site, "Guests for years have reported hearing what sounds like a party going on at various times of night in the dining and bar area of the Stanford." Frustratingly, the site doesn't talk at all about who the ghosts or supposed to be or if anything horrific or otherworldly went down inside the house, besides Dan Aykroyd's ghoulish over-acting.
Tomboy Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) has good reason to be morbid: her mother died giving birth to her, and her father (Dan Aykroyd) operates a funeral service out of their home. The other kids think she's a freak, and it certainly doesn't help that her best friend, Thomas J. Sennett (Macaulay Culkin), is a boy. To make matters worse, Vada is desperately in love with her English teacher, Mr. Bixler (Griffin Dunne). What's an 11-year-old girl to do? Read More