manic pixie dream girl
Coined by film critic Nathan Rabin after seeing Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown (2005).
- (film, sometimes derogatory) A stock female character, typically characterized as a bubbly, quirky free spirit, whose main purpose within a narrative is to teach a young male protagonist to embrace the mysteries and adventures of life. [from 2007]
- 2007 January 25, Nathan Rabin, “My Year Of Flops, Case File 1: Elizabethtown: The Bataan Death March of Whimsy”, in The A.V. Club Blog, archived from the original on 20070205:
- Then again, Sarandon’s character is the very embodiment of gritty neo-realism compared to Kirsten Dunst’s stewardess/love interest. Dunst embodies a character type I like to call The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (see Natalie Portman in Garden State for another prime example). 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.