17 Maggio 2023

With A Good Person, Zach Braff Creates Something Worse Than The Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Although all of the Band-Aids are trying for this, Penny Lane is clearly the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of Almost Famous. Though she avoids the stereotypical MPDG ending — she almost dies of an overdose, only to be saved by William, then breaks it off with Russell to go live her own MPDG life in Morocco without either love interest. But, of course, in doing all this she shows Russell the error of his ways so that he can make things right with William, helping both of them toward stardom. This is a Deconstructed Character Archetype, as Penny has her own inner life and emotional arc despite hitting many MPDG notes. Exploited in Welcome to the NHK with Misaki, who gloms onto the main characters because she needs to have the company of people she considers even more pathetic than herself.


I beg you to find something you’re passionate about and pursue it. Someway, somehow, throw yourself into the high school community. Yes you may look stupid wearing that night’s themed outfit, yes your throat will burn from all the yelling, but you will have a blast. Don’t be that underclassmen that is “too cool” to yell for the QB that just ran the ball 54 yards for the winning touchdown.

Summer Finn from ‘500 Days of Summer’

“Women behave in ways that they find sanctioned in stories written by men.” For Penny , manic pixie dream girlhood served as a model for how to live as a teen and early 20-something. As it turns out, she has a male equivalent too— the manic pixie dream boy. He writes poetry about the texture of your skin, knows how to fix all your problems and loves you for YOU. The MPDB helps fiercely independent goal-oriented women to stop and smell the roses, take risks and listen to their hearts. Nathan Fillion plays Keri Russell’s ridiculously convenient and personality-lite bit-on-the-side, otherwise fulfilling all the typical criteria of the MPDG. Interestingly enough, the main character fulfills this trope in the lives of just about everyone around her.

Sam and the main protagonist of the film, Andrew, are brought together by fate. From the moment they meet she is instantly drawn to him. For the rest of the duration of the film, she slowly is able to rid him of his emotional numbness by the power of her optimistic attitude and quirky personality. As Bradford’s token chubby best friend reminds him, “She’s a nutjob!” Bradford’s response, “But I love her.” Those lines fully sum up the plot of any movie featuring a MPDG. The grand champion of the MPDG fighting league, ’70s division, just might be Diane Keaton as the title character in Woody Allen’s most good-natured film.

On this website, you’ll find blogs about autism, cyborgs, fan fiction, King Alfred of Wessex, mermaids, music & musicology, martial arts, psychology, video games, and random nerdiness. Dating is difficult, complicated, messy, and awkward for everyone, I assume. But autism adds an extra layer of turmoil to that already unstable cocktail. Especially if you’re bisexual—and those last two identities often go hand in hand.

I, on the other hand, had the requisite qualities to be the boy who fell in love with MPDGs. I fell for clever, impulsive, short-haired brunettes. I kept my longings to myself, wanting to spare them the awkwardness of making the “I’m flattered but I don’t want to spoil our friendship” speech, and wanting to spare myself what I correctly imagined would be the excruciating humiliation of having to hear it. Not old enough to buy cigarettes or vote, I was well on my way to being one of what Penny calls the “mournful men-children” who attach themselves to the bright, the unconventionally pretty, the eager-to-please. The episode “Herstory of Dance” gives Abed a possible love interest in Kat, a girl who rides a scooter, plays with a bubble-blower, plays the saw in an all-girl Kazoo band and brings waterwings to a school dance. Annie tried to set them up, but others in the group were disturbed by her over-the-top child-like behaviour.

When I tried to have a conversation about this comment of his—“please define crazy”—he just made a joke out of it. But somewhere deep down, I already knew that he did not see me for who I was, that he was fooled by my appearance, just like Steampunk Redhead tried to fool me. At first sight, the sad incidents from my own love life seem to be mainly about the naivety and gullibility that go with my autism— and not so much about bisexuality. Nevertheless, I think the fact that I am bisexual and profiled myself as such on dating sites has contributed to the misunderstandings.

Florence Pugh Responds To The Backlash Over Her And Zach Braff’s 21-Year Age Gap

That’s why Penny Lane serves as the last example before turning over to some more complicated instances of the MPDG, because she scratches the surface of this façade to reveal something far more intriguing and telling about these characters at large. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ is one of the most paramount examples of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. In fact, the entire crux of the plot relies on the way that defeating her “seven evil exes” affects the life and self-esteem of her nerdy pursuant, Scott Pilgrim. Before Ramona, Pilgrim is a man without much purpose, dating a high schooler as a 22-year-old man and playing bass in a relatively unsuccessful band. One day, Ramona passes him – delivering mail by roller skates, of course – in a flurry of Manic-Panic-esque hair dye. When he finally catches up with her, she is so enchantingly unique and mysterious that there is no going back.

Neither is “you must be a wrench ‘cuz when I see you my nuts tighten up” or any other sexual innuendo, for that matter. What you — or anyone on a dating app — wants is chemistry, attraction and a reason to want to reply to someone. That’s more than just popping into somebody’s inbox and saying “Welp, here I am, let the blow-jobs commence! ” and it’s definitely more than just saying “hey”. Everyone who told you that this, or that, is what a “real” man is.

Due to these unrealistic expectations from the women written in these films, it just creates yet another standard that women should adhere to for the benefit of men. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a misogynistic cliche that has ruined the lives of many females in society today. The savior of our sad, tragic, and rather lonely male protagonist. More importantly a savior they didn’t even need to begin with and were just written in due to lazy writing. I’m sure we have all seen the Manic Pixie Dream Girl in film at one point or another. This trope is extremely specific and determining which female characters in Hollywood are a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is very subjective and rather controversial.

About Giuseppe Tortorella