Ah, the MPDG, also known as Manic Pixie Dream Girl, is featured in this fascinating NPR story. She is defined variously as:
- “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 as a girl who has no apparent inner life or job, other than to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.
Make sure to listen to the story as well to check out the embedded video, and to check out of the list of top 16 MPDGs of all time (though according to the criteria, I would have ranked Natalie Portman in Garden State over Kirsten Dunst, even if the latter has an impressive list of movies on her MPDG resume). This all leads the authors to ask fascinating questions such as,
- “Does Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind count as an MPDG, or does she evince signs of an inner life?”
- “What about Maggie Gyllenhaal, in Stranger Than Fiction? “
- “Is Ruth Gordon, in Harold and Maude, too old to be an MPDG?”
- “And is there such a thing as a Manic Pixie Dream Guy?”
Perhaps Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine and Angelina Jolie in the movie Playing By Heart, and I am sure in other of her movies, might be classified as MPDGs, only with a little nightmare thrown in. And does Sandra Bullock in While You are Sleeping qualify as a Depressive Pixie Dream Girl? Is Audrey Hepburn, who is mentioned for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, also an MPDG in the brilliant Roman Holiday?
Well, you get the idea. Do you have a favorite MPDG? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Is this a true cinematic type at all? Oh, and in theaters today is Poppy, who the authors claim is the latest MPDG.