Zooey Deschanel, Winona Ryder, and Ellen Page, I've just learned, share something in common more than being nearly too adorable to exist. They've all played variations on me. Me. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
That's right, I've just learned that I'm a trope.*
This weekend I learned that the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is, according to TVTropes.com, is a "stunningly attractive, high on life, full of wacky quirks and idiosyncrasies (generally including childlike playfulness and a tendency towards petty crime), often with a touch of wild hair dye." Sound like anyone we know? Today I actually made Jeremy a lovely homemade greeting card that included Poop written in lovely flowered calligraphy.
Examples of/variations on the Magic Pixie dream girl include Natalie Portman's character in The Garden State (which I liked better the first time I saw it, when it was called Elizabethtown and the MPDG was Kirsten Dunst). Ellen Page as Juno was a variation on the MPDG; Dharma of Dharma and Greg was the MPDG; Zooey Deschanel has played the MPFG in just about every role she's ever had.
Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl in his review of the aforementioned Elizabethtown, saying "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl 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."
Hello, Nathan Rabin, I'm right over here. At church, when they call all the children to sit in front for story time, I sit with them - people look at me funny if I don't. I've been known to force Jeremy to tango with me in the soup aisle at Target. Sometimes, I have whole protracted conversations using my shoe or a banana as a telephone. And I promise you, I have taught my broodingly soulful young husband to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.
*A trope, from the Latin word for figure of speech, is, according to TVTropes.com, a device or convention "that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations." It's like a formula that shows up over and over in TV shows, movies, books and stuff.
(That's not the actual meaning of the word trope, by the way. But the Internet will do what the Internet will do.)