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Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Chandler Levack, on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl — think Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Natalie Portman in Garden State, Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer:

All vaguely artistic, politically sensitive over-sharers, they lure in lost boys like the humane society for doomed relationships. But it’s their very irrationality that makes them irresistible. For the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, men (and women) can’t help but lose themselves in their sexy, aimless lifestyle. And compared to girls like them — with their boundless empathy, their emotional vulnerability, their vintage-purse collection — girls like us are totally screwed.

A really fascinating, well-researched article about an archetype that’s all over modern Gen-Y cinema. A couple things struck me:

“Men want to be the listless protagonist who needs a woman to teach them how to be human,” he says. “And for men, I would advise to ‘be your own manic pixie dream girl.’ Free free to prance around and wear silly hats and fly kites all day. And while schizophrenia might ensue, at least you’ll be colourful.”

As for women, Fowles says the first step in confronting the MPDG is realizing, like all the scary creatures hiding under your bed, that she doesn’t exist.

This is probably my favorite part of the whole article — the advice for both men and for women is fantastic. I can speak from personal experience that I’m much happier after I learned both of the above lessons.

The sad truth of sexual liberation is that you have feel liberated. My judgmental/never-getting-laid self believes that the girl who acts freely with her heart and vagina can’t possibly be free because she doesn’t understand the ramifications that come with sex.

I couldn’t resist throwing this in here, even though it’s a bit obscure. But for any student of Strauss and Howe, these sentences should jump right out at you.

(Via Anne K. Halsall.)