My Girl (1991)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 30-Dec-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Fly Away Home
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 98:06
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Howard Zieff
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Dan Aykroyd
Jamie Lee Curtis
Macaulay Culkin
Anna Chlumsky
Richard Masur
Ray Buktenica
Griffin Dunne
Ann Nelson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music James Newton Howard


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

I came to this film thinking that it was a comedy, perhaps a romantic comedy. So I was not expecting what this film turned out to be. That's kind of like watching Love Story and expecting it to be a romantic comedy. Yeah, you guessed it, this is not a romantic comedy. There are comic moments, but this is a touching drama.

They advertise this movie as being one "the whole family can watch". I'm not so sure. There are a couple of small things, and one big one, that you might not care to expose children to. There's (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) a little bit of coarse language, there is a senile person and several dead people, but the biggest shock for children would be the death of a child in an unpleasant way.

This film is about Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky), eleven years old, fairly opinionated, and a hypochondriac. She lives with her father, Harry (Dan Aykroyd), and grandmother Gramoo (Ann Nelson) in a house that is also a funeral parlour. Her mother died due to complications during Vada's birth. Her grandmother is clearly in the advanced stages of senile dementia. This is not the best environment for a young girl it's not surprising that she's a little disturbed.

Just after the film opens we meet Shelly Devoto (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is applying for a job as a make-up artist. She thought the Sultenfuss Parlour was a beauty parlour, but she adjusts. Through her eyes we're introduced to some of the stranger aspects of life in this household, including Harry playing tuba for his near-catatonic mother. Shelly gets closer to Vada as time passes, but Vada is wary, fearing competition for her father's love.

Vada's best friend is a boy, Thomas J (Macauley Culkin), whose most distinguishing characteristic is that he is allergic to everything.

This is the story of one summer, in 1972 (the period setting works well), when Vada is coping with a number of experiences, including a first crush, a first kiss, and, well, you'll see.

As long as you know this is not just a comedy, I think you'll like this film. It's touching, and excellently acted by all the principals.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

This disc has a transfer in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, so this is quite close.

The image is soft, but clear enough to enjoy. Shadow detail is poor, although the few night scenes aren't too bad to look at. Film grain is quite obvious, particularly under the opening titles, but it's not hard to look at. There's no low-level noise.

Colour is a little dull, but that could be production design. There are no colour-related artefacts.

There are quite a few tiny film artefacts, but there are none that would excite comment.

There is only a little bit of aliasing. There is no moire, no shimmer, and no MPEG artefacts.

There are subtitles in 21 languages (with three pages of menu just to select them). I watched the English subtitles all the way through. They are quite accurate, in a clear and easy to read font, and well-timed to the dialogue. There is a point made on the subtitles menu that extras are subtitled in some of these languages. Strange, given that there's nothing but a single trailer in the way of extras. Almost suggests that there were going to be other extras, don't you think?

The disc is single-sided and single layered. That's a no-layer-change setup, but I'd have preferred they did a better job on the transfer, and used two layers.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in English, and four other languages. I only listened to the English. It is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack with surround encoding.

The English dialogue is clear and easy to understand, which is important, because there are some subtleties in the language. There are no audio sync errors, but there is a little bit of distortion on a couple of occasions.

The music is mostly drawn from earlier decades than the 70s in which it is set. I guess there's little call for 70s music in a funeral parlour... The score comes from James Newton Howard, and is unobtrusive, but nicely suited.

The subwoofer gets no signal from this soundtrack. The surrounds aren't used the soundtrack is exclusively frontal, mostly central, but with some stereo separation.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is static and silent. It's easy enough to use, but boring.

Trailer (2:34)

Nope, not a trailer for this film. This is a trailer for Fly Away Home. I guess they thought people who liked this film would like that one. I think they're right.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 version of this disc is a Pan & Scan version with nothing significant in the way of extras (maybe a trailer). With this Region 4 disc being widescreen 16x9 enhanced, that makes the comparison fairly straightforward a clear win to the R4 disc.

Summary

My Girl is a touching little story about the summer a young girl is eleven years old.

The video quality is adequate, but not all that good.

The audio quality is good.

The extra is not relevant to this movie, but might be interesting in terms of another film to see.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE