10 ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girls’ That Don’t Live Up to the Fantasy
One minute they’re spouting prose in a bathtub, the next they’re liberating your decorative pillow shams. Sure, it’s fun to imagine yourself as the naive protagonist courting the cannot-be-contained love of a “manic pixie dream girl,” but when the allure and mystery fades into giggles and crazy, it might be time to rethink the dream.
Hollywood’s continued fascination with a woman who is too quirky and in the moment is nothing new. From Annie Hall to Clementine Kruczynski, she’s the woman every sensitive new age guy wishes he could craft to teach him how to love…and live! But this is the movies, a place where theory and practice have very little to do with one another. Here’s our list of 10 “manic pixie dream girls” we only THINK we want to share tomato soup and dance with on a rainy day.
Diane Keaton, ‘Annie Hall’
Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) was awkward and fidgety and never knew exactly what to say, and we’re convinced her dorky nebbishness is what kept Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) coming back for more. But in all honesty, a woman that insecure and awkward in her own self, and so quick to pick up stakes and book it for sunnier pastures, seems kind of like a drag. Plus, her brother Duane (Christopher Walken) would probably murder you and wear your skin.
Julia Roberts, ‘Pretty Woman’
Who could forget Julia Roberts’ breakout role as Vivianne, the manic pixie dream callgirl to Richard Gere’s smooth businessman? Sure she’s sweet in her refusal to kiss her Johns, and she cleans up great on a dime, but who could trust the true intentions of a woman so broken she turns to prostitution to find true love? This bad idea has the potential to turn costly quick.
Kate Hudson, ‘Almost Famous’
Groupie Penny Lane (Hudson) prides herself as being a “band-aid” and there for the betterment of the rockers in ‘Almost Famous.’ Sure her enthusiasm for the music and effervescence is contagious, but a woman like that will never see you with the wide-eyed fanaticism she views the man with the microphone. You might have a chance with her, but only as an opening act. Pass.
Natalie Portman, ‘Garden State’
Natalie Portman’s astonishing good looks and “live in the moment” charm as Sam in ‘Garden State’ makes it hard to resist falling for her. But the self-proclaimed pathological liar appears more interested in her own issues than really giving your problems the time of day. What good is that? Plus, she’s a little too into The Shins.
Kate Winslet, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’
Kate Winslet’s Manic Panic-obsessed Clementine Kruczynski in Michel Gondry’s head-tripper of a movie is so memorable that Joel (Jim Carrey) is forced to undergo painful neurological procedures to erase her from his brain. In our opinion, those scars are there for a reason– to prevent him from making the same horrible, debilitating, orange-haired mistake twice.
Mila Kunis, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’
Mila Kunis’ character Rachel Jansen appears as a breath of fresh air and a saving force for a broken Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) in ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall.’ While Rachel is a hot confidence boost and a vacation fantasy, she comes with a dangerous ex and a life thousands of miles away. We think this was better kept a fond vacation memory.
Heather Graham, ‘The Hangover’
Heather Graham is a repeat offender (remember her quirky porn star vixen in ‘Boogie Nights’), but our favorite(?) offense is her portrayal of Jade the escort slash stripper in ‘The Hangover.’ Sure she’s a great copilot for wacky hijinks, and her sunny personality is infectious, but have we mentioned that she’s a Las Vegas escort slash stripper? Oh, and she’s got a baby. Annul that relationship, stat!
Cameron Diaz, ‘There’s Something About Mary’
There was absolutely Something About Mary, and that was that she was a dangerous combination of stunning and aloof. Sure men were drawn (in droves) to Cameron Diaz’s hot doc character, but would you really want to compete with hoards of men to land a woman blissfully unaware of your affection? This is a woman who dated Brett Favre– what do we have to do to convince you this is a mistake, send you a picture?
Malin Akerman, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’
Perhaps taking your friend’s advice to settle down isn’t always the best course of action. Just ask Eddie (Ben Stiller) in ‘The Heartbreak Kid.’ The manic pixie fantasy begins when Eddie saves Lila (Malin Akerman) from a would-be assailant. After a whirlwind courtship and the prospect of losing his doe-eyed dream girl to a job in Holland, Eddie quickly marries her. It is only then that the reality of his betrothal to a sexually deviant, emotionally volatile whack-job comes to light. And no, that was not a mugger — it was her ex-boyfriend trying to take back his dignity. Bad news!
Zoe Kazan, ‘Ruby Sparks’
‘Ruby Sparks,’ currently out in theaters, is the ultimate case of a man attempting to find both personal and professional success in a single stroke of the pen. An author stuck in a sophomore slump a decade long, Calvin (Paul Dano) spots an attractive woman in a park (Zoe Kazan) and immediately pens a novel featuring this mysterious, sexy stranger as the lead character. As Calvin falls deeper into his own delusions, he struggles to determine the line between fact and fantasy. The woman he has created is everything he wants, and nothing that he has. What a downer.
Jennifer Aniston, ‘Along Came Polly’
Ben Stiller’s character Reuben Feffer falls into arms of quirky and impulsive Polly (Jennifer Aniston) after discovering his new wife (Debra Messing) has been unfaithful on their honeymoon. While we certainly can imagine that sort of heartache would push someone to do something impulsive and crazy, programming an algorithm ranking the two women’s compatibility is where we’re left questioning his judgement. This feels like a case of the boring tennis shoe you wear for comfort or the patchoili oil soaked Birkenstocks…we’re going to go with barefoot. Next!