Friday, October 16, 2009

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

KMH informs me re my previous post ("Listless Films") that there's a name for that quirky girl who helps the listless hero find what Manfred calls his "inner Ffufnagel cactus, which blooms within each and every one of us."
Thank you Astronave Nation.

Here's what I found when I googled the phrase:
"Wild Things: 16 films featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls"

"In his 'My Year Of Flops: [Elizabethtown: The Bataan Death March of Whimsy]' Nathan Rabin coined the phrase "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" to describe that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that 'exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.'"

And the poster MPD Girl they choose is exactly who I would choose: Kirsten Dunst. I like Kirsten Dunst (well, my inner Ffufnagel cactus does); but I always wondered, what's she on? Now I know: pixie dust!


Manfred Allseasons said...

I'm in Astronave Nation! Hurrah!

snd....ooh, I dont care much for the MPDG...its back to the Powell/Pressburger women for me...Joan Webster, June, Victoria Page...why oh why are you ignoring my Telegrams??

Manfred Allseasons said...

erm...that was supposed to be an 'and'....ooh...etc.

momo said...

I got lost in the crazy comments of that post, a whole nother world!

Fresca said...

MANFRED: I can't get past Pamela Brown and those big wet hunting dogs of hers. Wolfhounds of some sort?

MOMO: Who knew?

Jennifer said...

I tend to see Meg Ryan as the ultimate MPDG, although the original piece makes a good case for Annie Hall. :) And yes, the trope drives me mad as well. So self-serving...

Fresca said...

Hi, Jen!
Self-serving, yes. Art that is self-serving in the end is not very satisfying (though it can be fun in the short-run, like a meal of fruit loops).

But--the execrable "You've Got Mail" aside--I actually like Meg Ryan! "French Kiss" is one of my favorite fluff films. Though that's quite possibly largely due to the funny & yummy Kevin Kline doing a French accent. (The way he says "Bob" with an American accent justifies the whole film in my eyes.)