She's not quirky
July 10, 2013 9:00 PM   Subscribe

Trailer for the newest indie romance movie about a guy who falls in love with a girl who's just not...quirky or anything.
posted by Pater Aletheias (84 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
She's definitely creaky
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 9:07 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Haha.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope gets on my nerves every time now.

Watching the Detectives was pretty much the worst of the genre. Harold and Maude (1971) was the best of it, and it should've stopped right there.
posted by dgaicun at 9:09 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Surely this countermands the Zooey Deschanel full employment act.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:10 PM on July 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


WARNING: Massive amounts of vocal fry.
posted by winna at 9:10 PM on July 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


SO MUCH FRY and I still like it. Nearing 30, still single, and becoming disenchanted with the affectations of quirk and circumstance. Thanks for this post.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


*waits for bombing raid/alien attack/flesheating virus in vain*
posted by jonmc at 9:16 PM on July 10, 2013


I don't know why, but I love it when women try to stop me from rushing out into traffic when the don't walk sign suddenly changes. I totally fall in love with any woman who does that. Now that we have don't walk signs with countdown timers, I'll probably never fall in love again.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:17 PM on July 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


For that to work, you'd have to regularly try to rush into traffic. Would a non-quirky girl really be into someone like that? Would it ever have worked?

Maybe the inventor of the Don't-Walk-Countdown-Timer is the perfect woman for you -- an inventor. She's probably a little quirky, though.
posted by amtho at 9:19 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are two types of people. Those who try to dash across while the traffic light is still red, and those who have 2-3 minutes to waste standing on the curb. I'm definitely a dasher.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:21 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Watching the Detectives was pretty much the worst of the genre.

What did Photoshop do to poor Lucy Liu and Cillian Murphy?
posted by dumbland at 9:21 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I married this person, as a feckless, know-nothing twentysomething, no word of a lie.

It has been, erm, well, we are still fond of one another.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 9:23 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This makes an excellent double bill with the Cracked Manic Pixie Dream Girls video.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:26 PM on July 10, 2013


I love romantic comedies. I love quirky stupid romantic comedies. I would also see this movie in a heartbeat. And the Cracked one too. I'd never heard of "Watching the detectives." I plan to seek it out.
I am so sorry. I don't belong here.
posted by cccorlew at 9:33 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Holy abs, Batman.

...I need to get back to working out.
posted by ODiV at 9:38 PM on July 10, 2013


Today is officially Fryday.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:40 PM on July 10, 2013


One of my friends' kids, a college junior this fall, made a film with absolutely similar themes for his Film Studies class. I guess taking down the Manic Pixie is the new Manic Pixie.
posted by Miko at 9:56 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would Dot be an Animaniac Pixie Dream Girl?
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:58 PM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, Dot's actually pretty practical.

Wakko's more the manic pixie girl of that family.
posted by maryr at 10:10 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl

After another year of crushing on identikit 'quirky' girls, I sometimes think of figuring out where to meet a 'normal' girl, but then I try and figure out where to meet those people and it sounds like way, way, way too much effort.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:13 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


lazaruslong: "affectations of quirk and circumstance"

Oh, you mean quirkumstance?
posted by komara at 10:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Zooey can't deal.
posted by R. Schlock at 10:31 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok, so I had never heard this MPDG term before (thanks), but it totally explains to me the phenomenon of the QVP (tm) -- the Quirky Videotaped Proposal. I've often wondered what triggers the urge in my fellow men to make these awful 'part-of-a -bad-romantic-comedy-that-never-was' moments and now I think I know. they've been so swept up in the idea of the MPDG that they realize that the only way to have one is to reverse engineer the quirk. IIMSTMN!
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:05 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I kinda feel like a dick because I hate She and Him.It,s Kinda like Hating kittens or sunny days. Not every simple pleasure needs to be subverted.

Sure you can look at a kitten and think that inside that tiny adorable head is not even anger or rage, but a primal need to kill. But there is nothing deeper, there is nothing to understand, it is not evil, it is as it is.

Perhaps Zooey is like this, simply Zooey. And her art can be be appreciated as it is. There may be nothing to understand. No subversion, no snakes writhing just beneath the surface. Only kittens and sunny days.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:07 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


She and Him would often be much better at a different tempo. I want to like them but the timing kills it every time.
posted by maryr at 11:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe that's that it is. Not the lack of subtext.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:17 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


i was like wow so much vocal fry and boredom and then with the last line about how stupid it is to say i love you in a week it was like askmetafilter come to life and i was completely charmed
posted by angrycat at 1:42 AM on July 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


An idea that needed doing because damn, do I hate those "quirky girl" movies. They could have made her a bit less boring, though. :-)
posted by Decani at 2:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope there are some Manic Pixie Dream Girls in GTA 5. Especially a playable one.
posted by tservo at 2:12 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Way to plant, Egg!
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:36 AM on July 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


I feel like the whole point of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, which btw, was not based on any actual women, but instead on tropes and stereotypes found in movies and tv shows, was to point out that a female character who seems to exist purely to cheer up a dour, depressed man child, with no dreams or aspirations or storyline of her own, is kind of sexist.

But now it's just circled around into yet another way to criticize women for being so "annoying". In real life there's pretty much nothing wrong with a girl who likes indie music, standing in the rain, or any other particular quirks, so long as she has an actual life of her own. Which in my experience is true of 99.9% of women, quirky girls or otherwise.
posted by katyggls at 3:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [71 favorites]


How boring. It was still a man child being taught how to live by his female lover, which is exactly like a MPG.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:32 AM on July 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm definitely a dasher.

And she's a vixen! See, it was meant to be.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:32 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


She lost me at thinking colds are caused by being cold.
posted by Jess the Mess at 4:11 AM on July 11, 2013


I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Fascinating article. It'd be worth its own FPP, really.

"I still know that if I wanted to, I could attract one of those lost, pretty nerd boys I have such a weakness for by dialling up the twee and dialling down the smart, just as I know that the hurt in their eyes when they realise you’re a real person is not something I ever want to see again."

"I flick through a lot of feminist theory in the down hours where some people knit or go jogging"
The beauty of knitting is, you could do both at the same time!

posted by Gordafarin at 4:47 AM on July 11, 2013 [5 favorites]


The MPDG is not what it is. following Sartre, it is in only in bad faith that the MPDG can be what she is as opposed to what she is not.

and, following Sartre's partner, one can't help but wonder about comparing the MPDG to a rock or a kitten. unlike those, MPDGs are people that can reflect on their actions and presumably realize how grating their conceit is.
posted by jpe at 4:59 AM on July 11, 2013


What katyggls said. Something we used to mock because it was an overused and ridiculous stereotype in movies has now become a way to stereotype and dismiss actual women.
posted by chrominance at 5:59 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


No subversion, no snakes writhing just beneath the surface. Only kittens and sunny days.

There are always snakes beneath the surface. Kittens kill songbirds.

Quirky has become one of those words that I never, ever want to hear again.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:21 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, there really are wonderful people out there, both men and women, who can open your eyes to the world in new ways. One particular form of this, the woman who sees the joy in life and the slightly dour man, became popular in film and TV because it is easy and doesn't challenge gender roles or expectations. Because of the way tropes work, this character became more shorthand for the trope than a person, which is what people noticed and criticized. But this is in no way a criticism of women who see the joy in life, and to take it that way is actually subverting the whole point, which is that women, as real, actual people, get to define themselves, and are not simply there to act out the expectations of others.
posted by Nothing at 6:31 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kittens kill songbirds.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by signal at 6:38 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait, what's so bad about snakes, anyway?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 6:43 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Normaling
posted by The Whelk at 6:46 AM on July 11, 2013


"Normal". "Quirky". "Manic Pixie Dream Girl".

If you know anything about yourself you'd know not to judge others the same way -- people are too fucking complicated to be put into these buckets of classification. If you like or love someone the way they are, that's the end of it. Stop analyzing whether they're normal, geez.
posted by mysticreferee at 6:53 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Best Google Ad ever.
posted by jbickers at 6:53 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is definitely a dark side to the "life-loving woman and dour man" couple, and it is this: very often, Dour Man is depressed (and refuses to get help for it) and/or passive-aggressive and controlling. After many years, the strain starts to show on Life-Loving Woman, as the ineradicable negativity slooooly sucks the life out of her. Resentments build, and she either ends up a shell of herself or just takes off one day, leaving Dour Man to say that, yes, he always expected this to happen, because life is shit and pursuing happiness was always pointless.

MPDG is actually pretty dark in the other direction, in that a woman who appears to be truly "quirky" often also in incapable of finishing anything, holding down a job, or handling responsibility of any kind. The book The Glass Castle kind of gives you a picture of what it's like to have two of them as parents.
posted by emjaybee at 7:01 AM on July 11, 2013 [14 favorites]


Oh, so basically Sally from When Harry Met Sally is back. OK.
posted by Zed at 7:32 AM on July 11, 2013


It's amazing how much mileage you guys can get out of "let's do a movie trailer where the woman isn't quirky for a change!" I am in awe.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:42 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thirding (fourthing?) the "let's stop calling real-life people Manic Pixie Dream Girls just because they have interesting personalities and stuff" thing.

Because first off, liking the Smiths? Going for walks in the rain? Totally normal things for people to do! I prefer the mopey witticisms of Stephin Merritt to Morrissey, but there you have it. Asking questions about existentialism? Totally fun (and sometimes helpful)! Occasionally doing impulsive things just for the heck of it? Literally everybody I know does this! Even the boringest people!

But second, and more importantly, a lot of what reads as "quirk" to people is just a person trying to figure themselves out by throwing themselves out there and seeing what happens. Sometimes the "quirkiness" is just one person realizing they're capable of liking more than one thing at the same time: a friend of mine is into Japanese history and knitting, and while one of those two things would make her a nerd, the two things in combination make her... well, still a nerd, but a more interesting and unusual combo! And sometimes the things people occupy themselves with aren't, like, their life passions, and sometimes they're irritatingly bright and colorful things for a person to do because they're trying to figure out how to interact with people in a better way than when they dressed in baggy black t-shirts and didn't talk to anybody, but is it really a bad thing for people to try and get along with each other? Even if they're not always quite the best at it?

Finally, even when people ARE just whimsical and energetic and overwhelmingly sincere, they're still people and it kind of sucks to treat them like they're this movie object trying to affect men in a particular way. I went to Art School with a bunch of people whose goals in life were to be painters and actresses and whose personalities were sometimes very Pixie-sequence, and like a dumb idiot college boy I sometimes decided that these people were there for me to latch onto and live a happier and more exciting life! Except it turned out that they were people with worries and fears and hopes and ignorance and all that other messy stuff, like other human beings. That girl who played ukulele and tended bar and once handed me flowers for no reason in the middle of the street was worried about paying rent and had family drama and was confused about why people say and do what they say and do, just like me, and any indication of her being carefree and fascinating was just her putting on a happy face and trying not to make other people's lives suck just because she was unhappy.

Incidentally, I also know/am friends with a lot of people who are not that quirky at all. And they're good people too! Sometimes they're too stodgy, just as sometimes my quirky friends are too enthusiastic. You know? Some days you want to just lie around and not do much of anything and some days you want to wear a poofy-sleeved pirate shirt and break into privately-owned playgrounds to hold conversational symposiums. It is okay for people to exist who are up or down that spectrum in random places.

And there's this whiff of misogyny to all this, whether you're wishing girls were MORE quirky or criticizing them for being TOO quirky, because it all suggests that somebody else's social behaviors should revolve around making you feel better about yourself. There aren't many movies about men who meet quirky women and go, oh, I'm not nearly this high energy! Let's remain casual acquaintances. (But if you want a wonderful subversion of the MPDG trope, watch Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky, which presents you with a gorgeous, quirky person who Leigh practically dares you to dislike, and then, instead of having bad things happen to her or whatever, keeps on presenting her as an intelligent and sometimes alienating human being that some people like and some people dislike, and it's really nobody's fucking business whether she's too this or not enough that. It is a beautiful, positive, loving movie, kind of like a Zooey Deschanel flick would be if Zooey didn't repeatedly pick these ultra-cynical films in which her character is goddamn awful in every way.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:03 AM on July 11, 2013 [20 favorites]


some people just can't help doing things like going all Gene Kelly when it's a hard rain. we aren't doing it to impress you or shake you out of your complacency - it's just hard wired that rain is for dancing in and no one is ever too old for playgrounds.

I'm lucky: I'm a depressive, quirky woman. I can be my own MPDG.
posted by jb at 8:32 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


that said, who are the Smiths?
posted by jb at 8:33 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Depressive Pixie Dream Girl
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:56 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


that said, who are the Smiths?

overwrought, over serious, over-rated, over everything Brit band from the early-mid 80s who had one genuinely great song which kicks off with the lyric ...

I am the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar

posted by philip-random at 9:13 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can see how using MPDG as a slagging off on women with unusual traits is a bad thing, and I am terribly odd myself, but a good 30% of my life I do things like eat chips and salsa and watch the first season of Hannibal in a day. And then I feel guilty, not just because of the crap food, the lost time and money watching Hannibal; I feel guilty because I haven't been playing the guitar in a cute l'il outfit. I want to be Non Manic Non Pixie Gross Girl sometimes.
posted by angrycat at 9:14 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


But now it's just circled around into yet another way to criticize women for being so "annoying". In real life there's pretty much nothing wrong with a girl who likes indie music, standing in the rain, or any other particular quirks, so long as she has an actual life of her own.

Absolutely. It's a media trope, not a reality trope! It would be like if I started criticizing random dudes by calling them a "red shirt". It can not be applied to real life, it just doesn't make any sense.
posted by Think_Long at 9:35 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I tend to think of MPDG's as quirky girls who are specifically designed to revolve around the depressive dude and cheer him up and don't really seem to have lives of their own. You know, the usual movie construct that fails the already-mentioned-recently Bechdel test. I don't see this happening with quirky girls IRL--they actually have lives.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:45 AM on July 11, 2013


Ad hominem: "I kinda feel like a dick because I hate She and Him.It,s Kinda like Hating kittens or sunny days. Not every simple pleasure needs to be subverted.

Sure you can look at a kitten and think that inside that tiny adorable head is not even anger or rage, but a primal need to kill. But there is nothing deeper, there is nothing to understand, it is not evil, it is as it is.

Perhaps Zooey is like this, simply Zooey. And her art can be be appreciated as it is. There may be nothing to understand. No subversion, no snakes writhing just beneath the surface. Only kittens and sunny days.
"

I did enjoy the bit in New Girl where she got to vent about that kind of thing.

My thing with She & Him is that their 4-minute cover of "You Really Got a Hold on Me" felt like an hour and that kinda turned me off of their whole first album and I never really bothered to keep up after that. They kinda do the AM Gold thing a little too well, including the sleepy drudgery part. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" was pretty good, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:54 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think they are hating on real women with unusual interests. They are hating on the popular idea that a few bizarre but innocuous affectations can take the place of or even be preferable to a real personality or inner life for women (if they're cute enough, of course).
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:21 AM on July 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think they are hating on women at all but a movie trope. Sure there are quirky people of all sexes, including women, but are they all quirk all the time? Quirky people with unusual interests are still people with days they would rather lay in bed then dance in the rain.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:30 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is why I hate the idea of "quirk" as something positive and aspirational, even. Picking your nose compulsively is a goddamn quirk.

Having interests is not.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:34 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


overwrought, over serious, over-rated, over everything Brit band from the early-mid 80s who had one genuinely great song which kicks off with the lyric ...

One of the things that keeps me from interacting well with a lot of Music People is that I can't think of that song as anything other than the Charmed theme song.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:40 AM on July 11, 2013


If you know anything about yourself you'd know not to judge others the same way -- people are too fucking complicated to be put into these buckets of classification. If you like or love someone the way they are, that's the end of it. Stop analyzing whether they're normal, geez.

People? Yes. Too complicated to be put in buckets of classification. Lazily-written movie characters? We're gonna need some bigger buckets.
posted by The World Famous at 11:04 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


wtf is all this bullshit about dancing in the rain.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:18 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, Steely-eyed Missile Man, it appears that are a few of us in this world who choose to believe that their lives can be like a musical, and thus behave so*. This characteristic in a woman may cause her to be mistaken for a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl", even if she is, in fact, depressive like jb.

*My favorite two musical moments of the year: 1) St Patrick's Day, My little brother, who raps, was telling a story. I gave a reply that worked in a line from one of his songs and and he launched right into the rest of the thing for me, his friends eventually beatboxing to it. 2) Wearing my Booty Band tshirt on Tuesday, and the cashier at Starbucks burst out laughing, then started with, "Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt!" and started dancing. I also sing along with people if they are walking and singing, and I know the song.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:45 AM on July 11, 2013


Steely-eyed Missile Man - it's dancin' AND singin' in the rain, and it's a classic performance that deserves a tribute every time there is a nice hard rain, eg Paddington.

irony is, I'm not a big musical fan - I like the best, but the genre isn't a fav. But Harold and Maude is one of my favourite films and if I grow up to be like Maude, I will have lived a good life. (Ruth Gordon, who played Maude, is herself pretty interesting - she co-wrote Adam's Rib (1949)).

But here's a thought, from my SO earlier: maybe MPDG's are just assertive women, who aren't content to be quiet and demure/straight-laced like so many other film love interests. She has agency and acts on it, and changes the male character rather than just acting as a prize to be won by his actions. She acts more like a male character would -- and is the anti-MPDG feeling itself a backlash against a love interest who does have a character and an inner life?
posted by jb at 12:21 PM on July 11, 2013


in fact, MPDGs are more feminist than most non-MPDG female love interests.

So what people really mind is that there is a love interest - but a lot of stories have only one main character, and the rest (including the love interest) are secondary. I can think of stories and films in which the male characters really just orbit a main female character -- because it's her story, not theirs. If we have too many MPDG's and not enough MPDBoys influencing female main characters, that's more of an argument about the lack of female main characters than about the character of female secondary characters.
posted by jb at 12:24 PM on July 11, 2013


They are hating on the popular idea that a few bizarre but innocuous affectations can take the place of or even be preferable to a real personality or inner life for women (if they're cute enough, of course).

What is the acronym for the male character who mistakes contrarianism and outsized, hypercritical pickiness for a personality?

Oh...never mind, I think it's just Seinfeld.

and every dude i thought was attractive in college
posted by like_a_friend at 12:24 PM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I nominate myself to be Your Male Manic Pixie Dreamboat, I promise to be a mass of affectations and fixations with no compelling inner life or story of my own, just a nonstop sugar rush of escalating oh so wacky adventures until you're tired and crying and just want to go home.

And thens when I lock the door and pull the chains out.
posted by The Whelk at 12:30 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I prefer my Manic Pixie Dreamboats to be QWERTY. You might even say they're my type.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:33 PM on July 11, 2013 [7 favorites]


So what people really mind is that there is a love interest

a mass of affectations and fixations with no compelling inner life or story of my own, just a nonstop sugar rush of escalating oh so wacky adventures until you're tired and crying and just want to go home.
...you were saying?
posted by pxe2000 at 12:33 PM on July 11, 2013


> "... a lot of stories have only one main character, and the rest (including the love interest) are secondary ..."

But this has not historically been (nor does it work well as) the structure of a romantic comedy. For narratives that rely on a charming love story as a central plot, it is usually necessary for the audience to care about both characters, and for the story to have a certain amount of "balance" between the two. If we understand why X is in love with Y, but have absolutely no clue whatsoever why the hell Y wants anything to do with X, then we don't wish for a happy ending between the two; we wish for Y to wise up and leave. (Clever stories sometimes play with this dynamic.)

A similar comment could be made about who is "learning something" from the relationship. A traditional staid/quirky pairing might be - "X learns a little something about living for the moment, and Y learns a little something about responsibility". They complement each other, they balance each other, and we see how they work together.

The MPDG dynamic tosses this away. In MPDG stories, X learns a little something about living for the moment, and Y ... well, we don't care if Y learns anything. She's not really important, except insofar as she benefits X. Um, maybe she dies at the end or something. Yeah.

We're not watching a story about a relationship anymore, really. We're not supposed to root for both of them to benefit and grow. We're supposed to be happy that staid guy learns about life, and that's it. That means it's not a romance anymore. It pretends to be a romance, but it's really an entirely male-focused coming-of-age story that uses the main female character as a prop.

And that kind of sucks.
posted by kyrademon at 12:53 PM on July 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


She & Him ... kinda do the AM Gold thing a little too well

I really want She & Him to go full Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.

I can't think of that song as anything other than the Charmed theme song.

Tbh, I'm not sure that I don't prefer Love Spit Love's version of "How Soon Is Now." Love Spit Love is a real minor gem. What a quirky little project that was.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:59 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


But this has not historically been (nor does it work well as) the structure of a romantic comedy. For narratives that rely on a charming love story as a central plot, it is usually necessary for the audience to care about both characters, and for the story to have a certain amount of "balance" between the two.

Except when they don't. I can't even remember the male love interest in Sliding Doors because the movie was really about the female character. Yes, a classic romance story - whether film or novel - will often revolve around two characters. But not all do.
posted by jb at 1:12 PM on July 11, 2013


I think a better example of the love-story-revolving-around-one-character thing would be Jane Eyre, jb. Any movie with Gwynnie is going to be a love story between her and her ego.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:31 PM on July 11, 2013


I haven't seen Sliding Doors, but Jane Eyre is a rather interesting example. It's told entirely from the point of view of one of the characters involved in the love story. However, it would be rather difficult to argue that Rochester has no inner life and purpose of his own. The emotional balance between them exists even though the structure of the novel is tilted heavily towards Jane.
posted by kyrademon at 1:39 PM on July 11, 2013



I hope there are some Manic Pixie Dream Girls in GTA 5. Especially a playable one.


There's a hacker character in Sleeping Dogs, Not Ping, who might count but it looks like you only go on one date with her, which is a bit of a shame.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:35 PM on July 11, 2013



that said, who are the Smiths?


see thats the thing. i can't imagine interacting with somebody who doesn't know who the Smiths are, so using that as shorthand for MPDG is a bit annoying. though i also know people who try and BE MPDGs, which is also annoying, except for the ones who have legitmate mental illnesses, which is just sad
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:37 PM on July 11, 2013



I nominate myself to be Your Male Manic Pixie Dreamboat, I promise to be a mass of affectations and fixations with no compelling inner life or story of my own, just a nonstop sugar rush of escalating oh so wacky adventures until you're tired and crying and just want to go home.


so Doctor Who or Johnny Depp?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:38 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Johnny Depp is not a terrible suggestion. I think Justin Long has been suggested in the past as well.
posted by maryr at 5:03 PM on July 11, 2013


Psh. Justin Long is no MPDG. Think more along the lines of Ferris Bueller or Tyler Durden. Or Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. There's probably an argument to be made that Captain Kirk is Spock's MPDG.
posted by The World Famous at 5:27 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't even remember the male love interest in Sliding Doors because the movie was really about the female character.

There's a bit of Manic Pixie Dream Dude to James (who is played quite adorably by John Hannah). Just as everything in Helen's life is crumbling around her, random guy strikes up a conversation (about his quirky theory about the Beatles) on the subway, makes Monty Python jokes, keeps randomly appearing in her life, encourages her to pursue her dreams of a more fulfilling career, and makes her do goofy sing/dance-a-longs with his mates at the pub. Plus she gets a new, un-frumpy haircut and fashion sense, so you can tell she's all self-actualized and stuff (ok, also so you can tell her apart from missed-the-train universe Helen). And then horrible things happen, but fortunately James is going to be there for missed-the-train universe Helen, because fate. James has a minor bit of personal drama along the way, but it's mostly pretty easily resolved. It is a little different from a lot of the MPDG storylines in that he doesn't die or disappear at the end (quite the opposite, he's clearly meant to be with her for the long haul), but his purpose is still essentially to get Helen out of her rut and into a more fulfilling and joyful life.

It is a pretty mediocre movie but omg John Hannah is so charming.
posted by naoko at 9:31 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't this basically the premise of every mumblecore movie?
posted by Skwirl at 9:48 PM on July 11, 2013


(Also, it belatedly occurs to me, Jane Eyre probably doesn't really count as a rom-com.)
posted by kyrademon at 2:17 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tyler Durden is not a MPDG. Tyler Durden is pretty but scary. Anyone whose employment entails reprocessing human excretions or remains has lost the sparkle.

Speaking of sparkle... is Edward a MPDG?
posted by maryr at 6:57 AM on July 12, 2013


Johnny Depp in Benny and Joon! He's totally an MPDB in that.
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:05 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:42 AM on July 12, 2013


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