• Wed, Jul 25 2012

Who Is Your Least Favorite Manic Pixie Dream Girl?

75 Years of Manic Pixie Dream Girls from Flavorwire on Vimeo.

Mine is all of them!

Oh, that’s not true. I love Katharine Hepburn in Holiday. And Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. But those ones are special. Those are special exceptions.

However, if you watch this video featuring 75 years of Manic Pixie Dream girls, I will say that there is a scene where Charlize Theron looks absolutely, legitimately, insane. It’s when she’s rolling around with the dogs laughing uncontrollably. If there was different music then  Though I think perhaps it’s Jennifer Aniston wielding the knife who comes off as absolutely the most terrifying. For the record: no one will think it’s charming if you come at them in their bedroom with a butcher knife. Just never try that. Never try that, ever.

For that matter, try not to be a manic pixie dream girl unless you can travel absolutely everyplace with your own sound system. For reference on why that’s a bad idea, you might enjoy reading this.

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  • Meghan Keane

    Ok. How is Julie Andrews a manic pixie dream girl? Confused.

    • mm

      she swoops in and makes the poor, sad man happy with excessive singing, dancing, and refusing to follow his rules. she’s also cute and sweet, and naively innocent.

  • Jamie Peck

    Zoe Kazan said it best:
    “What bothers me about [the term] is I think that women get described that way, but it’s really reflective of the man who is looking at them, and the way that they think about that girl. Not about who that girl really is or what her personality actually is. I think that to lump together all individual, original quirky women under that rubric is to erase all difference. Like, I’ve read pieces that describe Annie Hall as a manic pixie dream girl. Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby. To me, those are fully fledged characters that are being played by really smart actresses. I just think it’s misogynist. I don’t want that term to survive. I want it to die.”

    Some characters deserve it, others do not. Regardless, I think Zoe has a point.

    • alexandra

      I completely agree. Also I think dismissing characters as MPDGs is kind of insulting to the actresses– can we also blame directors and writers when a horrible cliche appears in a movie? It’s not that much worse than the sympathetic drug dealer cliche or the magical black person: they’re stupid parodies of people who don’t actually exist, but that doesn’t mean the actors are at fault.

      What I guess I’m saying really is that I actually kind of like Zooey Deschanel and don’t like to think of myself as a philistine.

  • katy

    oh, I forgot how much I love Penny Lane from Almost Famous. When I was 15 I came dangerously close to getting a perm in hopes of somehow becoming her.