Here’s a good post on the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl. I’m not as bothered by the term as the writer is, but her point of view is interesting.
To me the female lead in 500 Days of Summer was like something out of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. But this post made me think.
There are few cinematic terms I despise as much as the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” (MPDG for short). My problems with this term are legion, so first off let’s have a little history. Nathan Rabin coined the term when describing Kirsten Dunst’s character ‘Claire’ in the Cameron Crowe film Elizabethtown. According to Rabin, Dunst epitomizes the MPDG, a female character who “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.” These women are describes as bubbly, childlike muses who exist solely to inspire a male protagonist, encouraging him to embrace and enjoy life.
The MPDG is one of those cinematic terms that was assimilated as soon as it was uttered; a lot of people accepted its existence as fact immediately, as if Rabin’s term was absolute and not to be questioned. No one…
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