Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

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, 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.
Right Jeremy?

*trope, from the Latin word for figure of speech, is, according to, 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.)

1 comment:

Megi said...

Charles was reading over my shoulder when I read this. I didn't realize he was until I heard a quiet snort. I looked up at him and just patted me on the head and said "Gosh, I can't think of anyone that acts like that at all." *sigh*