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They ALL Listen to The Smiths.
April 18, 2012 8:28 PM   Subscribe


 
Pretty good, right up to the end... "severe retardation of the brain"? Ha ha, fuck you and work on those endings.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:37 PM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I sthere a male equivalent of the manic Pixie Dream Girl? The Pyschotic Rogue Hallucinations Stud?
posted by jonmc at 8:38 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hated to love this.

And many comedy skits implode at the end. I think it's part of the formula.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:40 PM on April 18, 2012


Is it sad when you realise that you like pancakes for dinner and dancing in the rain?

Only I'm imagining I'm Gene Kelly, or Paddington Bear.
posted by jb at 8:42 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on. The very last line is great.
posted by oddman at 8:42 PM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have a soft place in my heart for manic pixie dream girls.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:48 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Then burn them a fucking mix CD....
posted by hincandenza at 8:53 PM on April 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


They ALL Listen to The Smiths.


Ohhhhh, that kind of girl. Never mind.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I liked playing in the rain before it was cool.
posted by The otter lady at 8:57 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I paid the cab driver in buttons.
posted by sweetkid at 8:59 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Then burn them a fucking mix CD....

Yeah, see, that's an issue. Do I go with the mix CD, the hipster mix cassette, the mix flash drive, the mix torrent file, or the ultimate -- a mix PLS playlist because she has all the cool songs already?
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:02 PM on April 18, 2012


Ohhhhh, that kind of girl. Never mind.

But you hate The Smiths! ;D
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:04 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked playing in the rain before it was cool.

Well, you have to admit this sure does explain the incredibly concentrated Manic Pixie Dream Girl population on Capitol Hill.
posted by loquacious at 9:11 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]




This really needed Zooey Deschanel in the starring role.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:15 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't really think it was funny and was uncomfortable with the state hospital psychiatric stuff.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:18 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


(But my expectations were high -- I clicked on the title because I was interested -- imagining a wry comic riff about institutional systems re mental health slash disability issues and girl power something. And then it was ... something else.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:21 PM on April 18, 2012


In the winter of 2006 I worked at a home for MPDGs as an entry-level aide. It was an eye-opening experience, but one I definitely do not want to repeat. I went in without much in the way of expectations; after a few months I was happy to leave, and I don't know whether I felt more for what the staff put up with or for the girls themselves.

There were many extremely hard-working, dedicated people working at the home in jobs that often feel unrewarding, dreary, and even hopeless. But there are also many people who are there because they couldn't think of anything better to do with their lives, or because they figured that it's a hard job to get fired from, even if you cut corners and speak poorly about the individuals you care for. Slurs against the MPDGs, as long as said out of the earshot of senior staff, aren't uncommon.

The guy midway through the video who shows up unannounced to "reclaim" his MPDG — yes, that actually happens. Or sometimes they demand to observe the care their loved ones receive, even if it's extremely disruptive to the order of the day. In one case, we had to erect a screen with a peephole to satisfy the family's curiosity.

I lost a lot of my idealism while working at the facility. The building is divided into rooms; MPDGs are assigned to a room based on the degree of severity. Rooms with less severe cases may only have two or three minders. I worked in the room that had a minder for each MPDG.

For the first few weeks I wasn't even allowed to make contact or approach any of the MPDGs in the room, not until I was trained in the proper way to take one down. MPDGs are routinely "taken down" and "transported" to the "soft room" to "cool off" if they act out. There are companies that provide branded training programs. I took mine (as a requirement of continued employment) over the course of two days, with a group of other new staffers, with a former Navy SEAL who was at least 11 feet tall and walked on his knuckles. For hours on end, we learned how to take down MPDGs — from the front, from behind, when help is available and when it isn't. The technique differs depending on height and body weight.

The intersection of federal and state requirements and bizarre therapy practices guarantee that every day seems like an obscene charade. Every once in a while the charade collapses: at one point the head staffer left the room to answer the phone or something, and all the other minders just dropped all the activities in progress and had the MPDGs sit around, doing nothing for half an hour. It was like, "we don't have to do anything if no one is watching."

We had to administer age-appropriate assessments to MPDGs regardless of impairment. As you may imagine, multiple-choice assessment is not an easy task for an MPDG whose chief activities are dancing in the rain and sculpting mashed potatoes. Often, we equipped them with jumbo markers and held the assessment sheets in front of them, waiting for them to stab at it at random.

I left when a less depressing opportunity presented itself. If I hadn't, I would have undoubtedly been fired eventually. I was repeatedly called out by my room supervisor for objecting to being bullied by her assistant. At one point the entire facility staff took a "work styles" assessment and training, similar to the Myers-Briggs, but clown-based. Each work style corresponded to a color and a clown: boffo clown, jazz hands clown, etc. After the training, the room supervisor took me aside and berated me for "being a clown of the wrong color." (I was yellow-green, most everyone else was orange or blue.)

Maybe the final straw was the treatment an acquaintance of mine received. She must have had a martyr complex to work at the facility, or maybe misplaced guilt about her own past MPDG experience. In any event, she, a shy, withdrawn girl, quickly became known to all the other aides in the building as "the Lesbian." It was sickening. People referred to her with a sneer. This cruel hazing, and the blind eye the senior staff turned to this and similar behaviors, are a big part of why I left and why I have extremely mixed feelings about these kinds of facilities and the care they provide.

So, yeah, state homes for manic pixie dream girls. Fun video.
posted by Nomyte at 9:23 PM on April 18, 2012 [30 favorites]


7 years ago when I was sitting on the veranda and wagging my finger at the hipsters on the corner. I warned them that earnestness would be the new irony and of how nice it would be to not have to wade through layers of snark.

Man, the pendulum swung hard. Be careful of what you wish for.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 9:25 PM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


The male version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is best seen in the ultimate wish fulfillment movie, Kate And Leopold, where in Leo sweeps Kate off her feet by being a charming, sensitive, intelligent man who wants nothing more than to cuddle and cook you fantastic meals while talking aout how pretty you are and chasing down muggers and showing you how to really love yourself. And is a royal.
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 PM on April 18, 2012 [17 favorites]


OH my god, I think I have this disorder.
posted by melissam at 9:36 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I dated a MPDG for a while. I didn't talk to her for three days and she had moved to another state.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 9:39 PM on April 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think more people need to be appreciating the main guy's wonderful Morrissey 'do.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:41 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This thread seems to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girls litmus test.
posted by betaray at 9:48 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


and was uncomfortable with the state hospital psychiatric stuff.

Yeah I was basically forcing myself to ignore that so I hope this thread doesn't devolve into mental health lulz.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:50 PM on April 18, 2012


Wait long enough, and it'll be a home for Manic Pixie Golden Girls. Which is similar, but with more incontinence and lilac.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:55 PM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Not funny, and uses the term "retardation." What a fucken delight.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:19 PM on April 18, 2012


Now I can't get the image of Randall McMurphy as a gender-switched MPDG out of my head.
posted by benzenedream at 10:31 PM on April 18, 2012


The phrase "Manic Pixie Girl" does capture a certain manner used by a lot of female romantic movie leads, but as a critique of women playing servile roles in movies it seems off the mark. For instance, there was an earlier FPP that linked to an article that called Diane Keaton in Annie Hall a Manic Pixie Girl. But you could make a long list of Annie Hall's own interests and goals that have nothing to do with Alvy Singer (Woody Allen). Alvy Singer is a relatively weak character; he's more dependent on her than she is on him. Those who go around applying the "Manic Pixie Girl" label might be saying more about their own preconceptions than about anything that actually happens in movies.
posted by John Cohen at 10:49 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


... this explains SO much about my ex-wife.
posted by Archelaus at 10:51 PM on April 18, 2012


Previously.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:05 PM on April 18, 2012


For instance, there was an earlier FPP that linked to an article that called Diane Keaton in Annie Hall a Manic Pixie Girl

Everyone knows Winona Ryder invented the MPDG
posted by fshgrl at 11:06 PM on April 18, 2012


I didn't really think it was funny and was uncomfortable with the state hospital psychiatric stuff.

Tell me about it! The idea that the state should handle Manic Pixie Dream Girls in bureaucratic, inefficient government facilities is frankly laughable in this day and age. What serious person doesn't realize that the market is perfectly capable of adapting to the presence of such "MPDGs" with a network of dynamic private managed care centers? Anyway when I saw it was actually a state compound in the video I clicked "close tab."
posted by furiousthought at 11:06 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I sthere a male equivalent of the manic Pixie Dream Girl? The Pyschotic Rogue Hallucinations Stud?

You mean Jim Morrison?
posted by LionIndex at 11:13 PM on April 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


No TVTropes link yet? Nicely avoided, Metafilter.

And dammit, I'm a total sucker for "New Slang" by The Shins, if only because it was the first song I could sucessfully complete on "Expert" level in Guitar Hero.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:23 PM on April 18, 2012


No TVTropes link yet?

We got the AV Club article instead. Damn Third Wave of Nerdism.
posted by i_cola at 12:02 AM on April 19, 2012


We got the AV Club article instead. Damn Third Wave of Nerdism.

They were also the people who coined the phrase, so y'know...
posted by kdar at 12:04 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


And now my head hurts...
posted by i_cola at 12:10 AM on April 19, 2012


They were also the people who coined the phrase, so y'know...

Yep, I see that they are in fact credited as such in the TV Tropes entry.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:12 AM on April 19, 2012


I sthere a male equivalent of the manic Pixie Dream Girl?

The male in every diamond jewelery commercial.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:21 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my opinion the best MPDG ever was Maude. She really had no agenda of her own -- she was just hanging out until her birthday rolled around and had plenty of time and energy to share with Harold.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 AM on April 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Get it right, guys.

These women have retardation of the brain. It's not, like, a learning disability.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:40 AM on April 19, 2012


The phrase "Manic Pixie Girl" does capture a certain manner used by a lot of female romantic movie leads, but as a critique of women playing servile roles in movies it seems off the mark. For instance, there was an earlier FPP that linked to an article that called Diane Keaton in Annie Hall a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

I don't think the label is about the character's purpose in life; it's about the character's purpose in the story --- e.g., to save the hero from dreariness. Annie Hall's kind of a bad fit for the paradigm because neither Annie nor Alvy are slackers --- Alvy's very successful in his career and well established in it. The MPDG was originally used to describe movies like Elizabethtown or Garden State, where you have these sort of directionless male leads who encounter this magic woman whose eccentricities cause them to loosen up and feel joy again. Alvy's not directionless; rest of it fits decent. Annie Hall has a bunch of the elements that would eventually become standard, excepting the character's ambitions and the downbeat ending.
posted by Diablevert at 3:23 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I LOLed. Love the moment when the boyfriend quickly pulls his hood down after he sees his male counterpart. And the best example of the manic pixie at "rest" occurs around 3:04; the slow smile is perfect.
posted by Currer Belfry at 3:32 AM on April 19, 2012


So does the girl in Zabriskie Point count as MDPG? Sorry I don't watch more modern stuff.
posted by marienbad at 4:20 AM on April 19, 2012


And many comedy skits implode at the end. I think it's part of the formula.

That's why Monty Python tended to stop their skits without ending them. Best quit while it's funny.
posted by valkyryn at 5:24 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nomyte, I love you.

And, yeah, the "retardation" line was a real let-down in the bit. One can make the argument that in some contexts it's become detached from its medical definition, as has "idiot"... but this was just a bullshit slur. "Terminal narcissism" might have worked.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:52 AM on April 19, 2012


Alright, I'll bite. This steretype/"meme"/trope whatever you want to call it really annoys me. Playing in the rain and being ridiculously foofy and childish is not manic. Being manic is driving your family accross the state because you can hear the flappin gof demon wings flying above your car and then caling the police to come arrest you because you don't know what you're doing or why all these demons and angels are after you and your family.

A lot of my friends (male and female) deal with episodes of manic depression and it is not a simple fun disorder. Cyclothemia might be the closest thing to what people want to imagind the MPDG being, but even then, it's a stereotpye that is offensive to people who are simply childish and have poor attention span and are easily giddy--- not that I know anything about that--- which is itself disabilitating but not the same as manic depression.

It's not even that I simply dislike MPDG as a trope. Men have been heroes in movies since forever so the idea of the girl getting to be the hero in a different way isn't too big a deal to me. The frustrating thing is that the men who are crazy in love in movies are often just as creepily insane in love and don't get labeled as a trope associated with mental illness.

Movies that involve the good and bad of female behavior in love need to be associated with a severe debilitating mental illness, whereas creepy vampires type romantic guys are just slightly creepy romantic guys.

People get weird in romantic relationships and often you get to see their worst and their best-- usually worst comes later but sometimes you're fortunate enough to meet it right away. It frustrates me that the most common role that females get cast in as leads in romantic movies "the girl who opens the guy up to his emotions" is not only dissected for being an incomplete character "he should do more for her! She should be more complex than just that! Why doesn't he help her in some way? They both need to hero each other!"--- but mocked as a characature of a severe mental illness.

I actually thought the skit was amusing, but the entire trope itself and discussions around it irk me.
posted by xarnop at 5:54 AM on April 19, 2012


Nomtye's comment is such a pitch perfect sidebar parody that it itself should be sidebarred.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:05 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wardrobe consideration provided by Modcloth, sponsors of the 2012 Manic Pixie Dream Olympics.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:19 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked playing in the rain before it was cool.

Do you like piña coladas?

In my opinion the best MPDG ever was Maude.

Maude or Maude?

(Maude v. Maude: the Maudenning!)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:24 AM on April 19, 2012


It's not even that I simply dislike MPDG as a trope. Men have been heroes in movies since forever so the idea of the girl getting to be the hero in a different way isn't too big a deal to me. The frustrating thing is that the men who are crazy in love in movies are often just as creepily insane in love and don't get labeled as a trope associated with mental illness.

I think you're misunderstanding the application of the label-- it's a calling out of a developing cliche in which female characters exist only for the benefit of their male love interests. It's a sexist trope, and deployment of the term is meant to be damning.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:25 AM on April 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is there a male equivalent of the manic Pixie Dream Girl?

In a recent thread, bobo123 observed: "
The one thing I find clever about Titanic is that Dicaprio's character is a male Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Winslet plays the depressed protagonist. Not many films do that."
posted by radwolf76 at 6:34 AM on April 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yeah, maybe the fact that I'm supporting a friend recovering from a very real manic depression right now, leaves me feeling like the lable completely misses the point of what manic depression is like. And the fact this skit shows the manic pixie dream girl as being institutionalized demonstrates that the word manic is not being used on accident.

The majority of disney movies offer male characters who only exist to facilitate the journey of the female lead being rescued/discovered and becoming a princess/getting married.

I don't think movies that feature more of what men would like vs what women would like are inherently bad. It can go either way. And I find it weird tht in order to point out that handsome princes only exist to fulfill the marriage/princess/dream wishes of the female in princess movies-- it doesn't seem necessary to insult the male characters mental wellness in these movies.

Anyways... I think too hard about things, maybe. I feel like it's not just an insult of directors who write these movies but also of females who may in fact have some of the traits in question whether mentally ill or not.
posted by xarnop at 6:42 AM on April 19, 2012


I'll put it another way, I think it's really sweet when people with mental illness and difficulties with functioning find ways to have healthy--- if odd and different-- relationships. I like this as a theme in movies.

Benny and June might be a more gender equal sort of movie of this ilk, but it makes me happy when either the man or woman or both has some very strange obstacles to being in a tradtional relationship and a way to have a mutually happy one is found anyway.

Does that have to be a bad thing? But serious mental illness is different than being a silly girl so I guess the MPDG label of some of these movies that seem to have relatively normal and not mentally ill people really confuses me.

Plates of beans, must be dissected.
posted by xarnop at 6:52 AM on April 19, 2012


It's a silly skit, not a commentary on the effects of bipolar disorder.
posted by helicomatic at 7:00 AM on April 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


I take mental health issues pretty seriously and I'll agree that incorporating the word 'manic' into the trope label was probably unfortunate, and yeah, the linked skit feeds quite a bit off of our shared cultural idea of Crazy People, Lol!, which is shitty. FWIW, I think the identityless princes in Disney princess movies are pretty terrible as a thing, too.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:02 AM on April 19, 2012


I thought that the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" was like the "Magical Negro," a modern pop fiction trope, rather than describing a type of person in real life. As per the AV Club, the MPDG is defined by her lack of inner life. She's a plot device, not a character. Which is problematic in all the usual ways that crop up when people become means rather than ends. Any story where all the world is a mirror for the protagonist and other people's suffering exists only to enlighten and ennoble someone else is mendacious bullshit.

Regarding the name itself, I parse "manic pixie" as one phrase, which modifies the second half, "dream girl." The name is not meant to imply that she clinically manic; she's a "manic pixie," which is to say she's a fairy tale character who is acting all frantic. It's unrelated to clinical definitions of the term, and you can't split the words "manic" from "pixie" without distorting the point of the term. I can see why people would get bent over the use, given the context of the video, but the term has more than one meaning, just as "depression" does.

The closest to actual MPDGs I've met in real life were the most narcissistic, oblivious assholes. Feh.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:04 AM on April 19, 2012 [23 favorites]


I'm supporting a friend recovering from a very real manic depression right now

Good on ya. It's not an easy thing to do and most people try not to get involved.

It's interesting that you use the term, "manic depression." Bipolar disorder" is currently in vogue, and people can be very uptight about this. I walk carefully, since my father prefers the old-school nomenclature and my fiancee prefers the latter.

I assume you're using the term she prefers? That's a good way to be supportive.
posted by snottydick at 7:06 AM on April 19, 2012


Look I once paid a cab driver in buttons, ok?! This skit just happened to poke one of my buttons, a large red one with little pink hearts on it, it's a really cute one actually and I don't appreciate the mocking of people who know how to appreciate cute buttons or envision the button as a new, more cute, option of economic currency.

Alright? So I just thought I would share my feelings, because feelings are important and so is splashing in puddles. Wake up to your inner self and the beuatiful meaning of life! I hear some Shins playing in the distance, calling me, and must go frolick, but if you need help opening your inner self, just memail me. And I will memail you buttons. With rainbows.

Look I can't help that I happen to match this terrible stereotype! Don't lock me in a home! I'm very nice! I just like to frolick! Of course if the home has crafting and playing in the rain time.... and painting?! And pretty sparkly decorations?!!! The only problem is they don't let the boys in. I'm definately going to need male visitors, very regularly. I will put sparkles on them and we can hold hands and jump on the bed. YAY! What are we talking about?
posted by xarnop at 7:56 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Manic depression vs bipolar. My friend is still sorting through her experience and doesn't have a preferred term at present. She'll use the term manic depression to describe specific episodes and bipolar disorder to describe the spectrum. Labels are just labels and imperfect and unscientific at that; I call people whatever they like.
posted by xarnop at 7:59 AM on April 19, 2012


"We got married in a fucking bouncy castle!"

I second the "I never thought of MPDG's as bipolar" remarks. These folks are clearly from another planet/living in a different reality (you know, movie reality) where everything is cheerful and not dangerous at all. You can't be from here if you think paying in buttons is okay, right? I didn't think it was so much of "commentary on mental illness" so much as "these folks don't survive well on the streets of reality." Note the rain, and the "the best place to watch the stars is in the middle of the street" stuff.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:22 AM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Will Ferrell is arguably a MPDGuy in Elf. He's a quirky, fun-loving character with virtually no depth or inner life that teaches the listless Zooey Deschanel to love Christmas/life. The only difference is that he's the protagonist, rather than a supporting character.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:58 AM on April 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Will Ferrell is arguably a MPDGuy in Elf. He's a quirky, fun-loving character with virtually no depth or inner life that teaches the listless Zooey Deschanel to love Christmas/life. The only difference is that he's the protagonist, rather than a supporting character.

Which may be why I hated that movie.
posted by valkyryn at 11:49 AM on April 19, 2012


I married a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Awful wife and worse mother. No sense of responsibility. No groundedness. Failure in life.

But oh-so-cute and bubbly and always looking to try new, wacky things.

...


I divorced her, got married to a better overall person, and have never been happier. MPDGs are a waste of time.
posted by Edison Carter at 2:37 PM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Huh. I was just thinking about the adorable Jordan from Real Genius and discovered Cloudcuckoolanders.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2012


Well of course mentally ill/personality disordered/functionally impaired people are not going to be fun to date in general--- but I like to think that maybe there are specific guys who would like a dysfunctional woman, you know? Because they are dysfunctional, or they don't mind or something?

I still feel like bashing the MPDG trope is a fun fest on bashing dysfunctional people-- many of whom DO have exacerbated romantic/emotional/giddy/childish traits.

Yes if you meet a woman who is like the MPDG trope she probably has some problems. If dysfunctional people who lack self efficacy fill you with rage and desgust, you probably shouldn't date them or create children with them. That doesn't mean you need to say dysfunctional people are a waste of time. Maybe they shouldn't be dated but maybe they could be valuable some other way? A lot of females with bad family dynamics and or poor life coping skills or mental capacity wind up having exacerbated social traits like the MPDG tropes, and wind up feeling like their sexuality and emotional giving is all they have to offer. It really does happen and making fun of the existance of such people is really not kind. But I guess humor is not meant to be kind.

Dysfunctional people who are not aware of it, and who think others should deal with their difficult behavior can easily cause a lot of harm and damage to others (whether they are male or female)--- but someone simply existing and not being good at functioning does not mean they need to be disparaged for existing.
posted by xarnop at 8:28 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still feel like bashing the MPDG trope is a fun fest on bashing dysfunctional people-

Nah, reread this comment-- it's a trope about two-dimensional fictional characters, not about a type of actual human being. Calling out something as a MPDG is a criticism of poor writing and character definition, not of a person's social failings.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 PM on April 19, 2012 [5 favorites]



I still feel like bashing the MPDG trope is a fun fest on bashing dysfunctional people-- many of whom DO have exacerbated romantic/emotional/giddy/childish traits.


You are incorrect. This is the very movie review which coined the term. As you can see, Rabin's complaint about the film is that no one acts or talks like real people do --- he says Crowe has always been a director whose characters talk and act in a heightened, unrealistic way, and that in this firm Crowe goes so far of the rails in that it becomes completely unbelievable as a depiction of how anybody would act, with Dunst's character, the MPGD, the most egregious example of this. Bashing the trope is about bashing romantic heroines who exist solely to serve the hero's fantasies and don't act like any kind of real woman.
posted by Diablevert at 4:01 AM on April 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I felt like the last line was off for a few reasons - hammy delivery, stunted writing, probably not the most sensitive way to handle things - but it did call to mind the fact that the same idea had been expressed previously in a way that didn't ruffle my feathers the same way. I think in large part because it didn't go to the trouble to spell out the connection the way this video did.

That would be Rita Leeds from Arrested Development. The show doesn't take great pains to point out the fact that she is a sort of proto-MPDG, all full of whimsy and childlike excitement, because she actually has the mind of a child.

I thought it was fantastic, the way the show set up expectations for a while and then dropped the reveal and left the conclusion up to the viewer: that there was no actual appreciable difference to the audience between a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and a grown woman who is developmentally delayed.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:29 AM on April 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


The fact that all of her lines had to be written with three possible readings (innocuous for Michael to hear, sinister for the audience (who thinks she's a spy) to hear, and the truth) is sort of an amazing feat.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:34 AM on April 20, 2012


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