Glenn Kenny
August 05, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The bee-sting death of a best friend is a hard act for any almost-coming-of-age sequel to follow, but Anna Chlumsky continues to charm in My Girl 2 as the clever, self-assured Vada, girl-child of the early ’70s. Vada’s quest to find out more about her mother, who died during childbirth, gets way sappy toward the end, but still, it’s nice to see an American movie chronicling the growing pains of a character who’s both literate and imaginative. B-

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