Directed By: Howard Zieff
Written By: Janet Kovalcik
Based On Characters created by: Laurice Ehlewany
Cinematography By: Paul Elliott
Editor: Wendy Greene Bricmont
Cast: Anna Chlumsky, Austin O’Brein, Richard Mausr, Christine Ebsrsole, Dan Ayckroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gerrit Graham, Ben Stein, Keone Young, Devon Gummersall
Vada Sultenfuss has a holiday coming up, and an assignment: to do an essay on someone she admires and has never met. She decides she wants to do an assignment on her mother, but quickly realizes she knows very little about her. She manages to get her father to agree to let her go to LA to stay with her Uncle Phil and do some research on her mother. Once in LA, she finds herself under the protection of Nick, the son of Phil’s girlfriend, who at first is very annoyed at losing his holidays to escort a hick *girl* around town. However, he soon becomes more involved in the difficult search.
This film is just as warm and charming as the first film. Though weaker overall in feel and subject matter
This is the last film that Howard Zieff directed, because he became increasingly debilitated by Parkinson’s disease. Carrie Fisher was also an uncredited script doctor on this film
It’s character from the first film we feel a connection with and want to see what is happening in their lives, but the movie offers less of a reason. So that it feels more like we are dropping by while something is developing . Which might have. Even the movies aim, it just never feels as compelling and things seem to happen more in a leisurely pace.
Which makes it seem like a film that adults might appreciate more then kids. Unless they are just connected to the characters from seeing the first film.
It goes more into the hippie lifestyle that she is around as well as delving more into a friendship than romance
The thing that is missing is that in the first film it was a coming of age story and we were introduced to her making her way through the world and seeing how her family worked while this outsider came in. As well as including a tragedy that you knew was coming
Though this film feels less needed than that film As it feels more like an unnecessary continuation of a story and characters where we leave half of the character from the original who appear more in a cameo. Which also loses some of the charm. As it’s nice to see them but we don’t get to see as much of them as we would Like.
And now she is dealing more with her uncle form the first film who here has a bigger part and we get to see him more humanized in his relationship with her and a romantic one. So we are dealing with the original character in a whole new landscape which seems smart, but isn’t as precious as the character is older and a lot more knowledgeable. It stays clean but she isn’t as naive.
Here the character is doing research more into her deceased mother which is what take up most of the films actions and time. She is also in a strange location for her. So she is exploring new territory. While being around the counter culture she still manages to stay innocent.
Strangely though older she is less boy crazy and fascinated by relationships. Which seems to be why by the end she finds herself in a minor one. Though still not really having any female friends. Which the film starts with her having but losing them to jealousy.
Anna Chlumsky has always been an earnest actress her performances have always felt truthful and soulful full of confidence. She is charming and is energetic in her performance. That feels adventurous and guides each performance she has. Though at least throughout she stay confident. Which leaves a good message and role model for little girls watching it and seeing themselves In the character. Luckily over the years she has come back as a major actress in adulthood and been Emmy nominated quite a few times on the award winning television show VEEP
Maybe it is that I grew up watching and dealing with the first film emotionally so that when the sequel was finally announced. –I looked forward to it and built it up on my head so that when i finally saw it I couldn’t help but find it disappointing. More as me and other might have grown out of it. As it came too little too late.
Now this is not a bad movie at all. If anything it feels heartwarming
Though it works as a continuation of a character like in the films MY AMERICAN COUSIN to AMERICAN BOYFRIENDS, also THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE to FLIRTING, only skewing younger. Though offers motivation and moving into more adult themes for the characters here it maintains an innocence for everyone
The supporting characters are fun if not too memorable. The investigation is not that interesting or encompassing they seem only there to keep the story moving and the characters moving allowing for some developments.
Not too much of a side story by introducing another suitor for the uncle’s girlfriend.
This was a sequel that I was looking Forward to even though I was old enough to be skeptical and think how were they going to be able to equal the power (at least for me) of the original. As one Wanted to see the further adventures of Vada.
Which is exactly what this film does. She is a little older abd the film transports her out of her hometown into sprawling San Francisco. Bigger city for bigger adventures. As this film comes off more as episodic.
The seed are planeted early in the film. When her friend who we last saw her playing. With st the end of the original. Is jealous and ditches her for a boy who seems to constantly be flirting by with vada and vada In turn has no interest in nor picks up on it.
So as she searches for stories about her mother. The movie revolves around relationships. Her uncle and his girlfriends. Her and the girlfriends son who accompanies her everywhere In her fact finding mission and even her relationship with her mother and accepting her stepmother and her soon to be born Sibling.
That is what most films are about relationships. This one offers a bit of romance between her and the girlfriends son but other then a kids that is as deep as it gets.
One of the charms of the original so is that it came out of nowhere and had a more natural sense of character as well as generally good innocent humor for the most part. So that it felt like a gem out of nowhere that was also felt classical in A small town novel way. It felt comfortable.
Where as this film feels like most of the film it is stretching and feels way too planned out. It feels more designed then coming off natural and it kind of spoils it.
The film Still has some off the wall charm but not enough to make this film feel like it is worth the effort.
Though then Again I might be wrong as I was younger when the first film Came out and more cynical when the sequel came out and might have believed I was above it all. Kids might actually like it. So might those who took the first film to heart. Even though I did and still found myself disliking the sequels