Whither The Manic Pixie Dream Guy?

Why women deserve flaky free spirits, too.

by Sonia Saraiya and Gabrielle Moss

It happened to one of us, ladies. Let's let her tell it: "A handsome man with tousled hair and an aversion to commitment showed up at my door, suitcase in hand, seeking shelter from the storm. (Okay, he'd called beforehand, but still.) We had a two-day romance — he played music, I wore a dress, we talked for hours. Then he disappeared from my life on a six-a.m. flight, and that was that. It was the emotional and quirky hit-it-and-quit-it."

"My pop-culture education to date had not prepared me for this scenario. Yes, I felt a sense of loss at his leaving, but I also felt a sense of spiritual wholeness. Why wasn't I moping around waiting for him to come back to me, like in a romantic-comedy post-breakup pre-finale montage? Why did I feel, of all things, better connected to my art?"

We came to a conclusion so bizarre that it had to be true: he'd Zooey Deschaneled her, hard. He was a manic pixie dream guy.

There are a lot these guys running around. (If you don't believe us, please consult your college diary for all references to guys who are "between apartments.") These are guys with whimsical plans who carry backpacks (always, backpacks!). They run around, crash on women's couches, eat our home-cooked meals, tenderly stroke our... broken dreams, and then vanish like Mary Poppins, leaving us ladies behind — hopefully with a sense of emotional fulfillment and joyful memories (and not something terrifying, like a baby or a burning sensation).

In real life, we know a lot of these guys. But where are the manic pixie dream guys on screen?

They run around, crash on women's couches, eat our home-cooked meals, tenderly stroke our... broken dreams, and then vanish like Mary Poppins.

Of course, their female counterparts are everywhere in cinema. If you have better things to do than hate-watch Garden State on a Sunday afternoon: the manic pixie dream girl, as defined by critic Nathan Rabin, is a movie stock character as beautiful as she is whimsical, who "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."

But while artsy sprites from Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman to the adorkable Queen Termite Zooey herself have colonized our cinemas and our brains over the past decade, with their impeccably crafted mixtapes and impromptu bubble-blowing parties, no equivalent whimsical male waif (with a backpack but no cell phone — always, no cell phone!) has appeared for cinema's straitlaced, bored, heterosexual women. Narrative, especially in Hollywood films, relies on characters who have no agenda or ego of their own — who exist to make the protagonist feel a certain way. The manic pixie dream girl is one of these figures — a cipher who lives to help a dude discover his real life's purpose and truly feel alive — and movie women deserve their version.

Hey, you might be saying — that sounds totally gross! You might continue to say: the solution isn't the addition of the manic pixie dream guy to the cinematic canon — the solution is to stomp out the manic pixie dream girl! Fair enough, imaginary person we are arguing with. Don't get us wrong — we love romantic movies where both characters are complex. (Think Before Sunrise.) But not every single movie can be Wild Strawberries. Cipher characters aren't inherently sexist or evil, and characters who aren't particularly complex can still serve an important purpose. They only become problematic when they're all women.

Cipher figures for women have always been thin on the ground. (Part of the reason we're all still gushing over Pride and Prejudice almost two centuries after its publication is that Mr. Darcy is one of pop culture's only true ciphers for women. And Mr. Darcy is many things, but he's not manic or a pixie.) Think about it: how many narratives can you think of where a man loves a woman, transforms her, and then leaves her — and it's not considered a tragedy? Manic pixie dream guys appear in your B-movie "divorcée re-enters life" narrative — How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Under the Tuscan Sun, Eat Pray Love — but only sort of. All the men in these movies bring joie de vivre back to the divorcees, but all three movies end with the couple together for the long-term. We tried to think of a film in which a woman loves a man, gets changed by him, has her heart broken (or at least bruised, a little bit) when he disappears, and then moves on, zest for life renewed — and thought of exactly one: Titanic. (And he doesn't exactly disappear — he dies.)

Women are supposed to be focused on marriage, constantly looking to settle down, and too emotional for casual relationships.

But Titanic was a pretty big hit. So why does Hollywood think women can't handle a manic pixie dream guy? The most likely culprit is outdated ideas about women and their needs. Women are supposed to be focused on marriage, constantly looking to settle down, and too emotional for casual relationships. Conversely, men are not supposed to be emotional or unstable — i.e. given to great public shows of whimsy that may or may not involve balloons. Pop culture generally puts more emphasis on the dark side of male free-spiritedness — men who irresponsibly destroy everything they touch. (Looking at you, Don Draper.) So, a manic pixie dream guy couldn't possibly breeze into a woman's filmic life, help her discover her real goals, and then breeze out, because her real goal would be to keep him from ever breezing out again. In this scenario, the fact that relationship had no long-term potential would mark it a failure for the woman.

This is, politely, bullshit. Rom-coms often instruct women to loosen up and enjoy life — but that's only if that enjoyment of life manifests itself as getting seriously involved with a tough, traditionally masculine male figure. But women's lives have changed at a dizzying pace over the past several decades, and we need modern movies to catch up with modern desires. Not all of us are looking for Gerard Butler to humiliate us into loving him. Some of us would be just as happy logging a few hours with a whimsical Ferris Bueller (you know, without the narcissistic personality disorder — but with the sweet stolen car).

It's time for Hollywood to man up. Women's desires matter. So, ladies and gentleman, a proposal, if you will: the manic pixie dream guy rom-com. We expect a script within the week.

Want to meet a guy with a backpack but no cell phone? Or a woman who's looking for a guy with a backpack but no cell phone? Nerve Dating is your spot.

Commentarium (75 Comments)

May 02 12 - 9:09am
Halle

You guys seem to consider the manic pixie dream girl whimsically disappearing without a trace a staple of the character, but in most movies that feature the mpdg that I can think of the couple ends up together. For example the end of Garden State has Natalie Portman outright begging Zach Braff to not leave her to go back to L.A. and of course after a quick fake out he ends up staying. The girl in Elizabethtown freaking makes a scavenger hunt with herself as the ultimate prize.
Additionally, I think the lack mpdguys has more to do with a paucity of wide release films that are made by women, with an intended audience maybe of women or maybe of everyone, but that come from a distinctly female point of view.

May 02 12 - 9:10am
moops

They exist. They are called guys with bipolar disorder and I don't advise dating one.

May 02 12 - 10:05am
esh

WORD.

May 02 12 - 11:59am
JCB

Yeah, maybe it's because I'm married, not in my early 20s, not white, and not particularly adorkable, but when I think "dream guy", I'm hardly imagining a flaky homeless guy with a backpack who eats all my food and disappears. I have two little brothers already, thanks.

May 02 12 - 11:28pm
It's you not me

moops - Thank you for stating what I was just about to.

May 03 12 - 9:28pm
um, ouch.

Your comment rung so true that I forgot to breathe. Also, boys and girls, if the person you are in a relationship with begins behaving erratically and bizarrely suddenly in their mid-20s, keep in mind that this is the average age of onset for bipolar disorder. I wish I'd known!

May 04 12 - 9:22am
patty

Moops -- Yes! Exactly that. Manic has a flip side... and it ain't pretty.

Jul 07 12 - 10:38am
MPDB with BP...

Come on now, that's not really fair, our lives are hard enough without girls deciding it's not a good idea to date us because of one silly little diagnosis. Come live in our fantasy world, nobody will ever love you more than a romantic 23yo with perfectly tousled hair and manic depression.

May 02 12 - 10:11am
SeeingI

It works for gay guys too, especially older guys who date younger. The MPDB is a well known phenom in the gay world. I've dated a few myself and still have the mix CDs to prove it.

May 03 12 - 11:39pm
lillygl

Now there's a script I'd love to see! (This is coming from a straight gal. I just think it would make an awesome movie script.)
I can think of a few french stories that feature a mpdb - Chéri, for example, and the english movie version with Michelle Pfieffer is pretty decent - but you guys have really hit on something lacking in Hollywood's ideas of what will work for female audiences.

Jul 14 12 - 4:58am
Kitt

If you're looking for gay MPDG, try Cain from Starfighter (webcomic)

May 02 12 - 10:38am
moops

It seems to me that the MPDG (girl/guy) is essentially about prostitution. "I am unable to hold a real job, but I make up for it by being wild!"

May 02 12 - 10:50am
mr. man

I like this article. It made me smile. I'm neither a prostitute, homeless, insane, or unemployed, but I'm pretty sure I've been a MPDG for some liberated ex-housewives and other single gals who needed a fun barnburner. I feel like Gigolo Joe from "A.I." without the getting paid part. I have no idea how I ended up with this life but I must say I've had a great time! I am! I was!

May 02 12 - 1:29pm
LadyFingers

I had a PMDG! He was such a sweetheart, and he always carried his guitar with a frayed tye-dye strap. Such a talented musician, really giving with foot massages, always talking to strangers on the street, crazy but lovable. He had a cell phone, though. I was actually happy when he took off, he was awesome in his way but not the kind of person you want to have as a relationaship, and he was also definitely a wino. But I think of him fondly.

May 02 12 - 1:30pm
goo

Matthew Slaughter!

May 02 12 - 1:36pm
DWLyle

Johnny Depp's character in, "Benny & Joon" is a MPDG.

Jul 11 12 - 6:51am
Ti

Agreed. I thought of him as I was reading the article. I would argue that Johnny plays an MPDB in quite a few movies. Or he just is one.

May 02 12 - 2:14pm
lone

ha ha ha ha ha ...
you made me laugh.
script in the works.
expect to see it in, about a year.
xo

May 02 12 - 2:18pm
KMD

Strictly speaking, Diane Lane did not end up with that dude in Under the Tuscan Sun, or any dude for that matter. He was totally a MPDG for her.

May 03 12 - 7:04pm
Michelle Z.

Um, yes, the writer who shows up during the summer wedding at the of the movie crashes at her Tuscan villa until at least the holidays.

May 03 12 - 8:32pm
KMD

Oh holy crap! I totally forgot about that dude! (I think I was so bummed the hottie with the accent got away I hardly noticed end-of-story dude). I stand corrected! :)

May 11 12 - 2:14am
Michelle Z.

The forgotten guy was hot. And always the one we're really waiting for

May 02 12 - 2:28pm
here's one

Data from Star Trek TNG. Witness:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CydcEsZaeoo&feature=related

May 02 12 - 4:32pm
mr. man

nice. he is fully functional after all.

May 02 12 - 7:18pm
ana

and anatomically correct!

May 02 12 - 2:36pm
mp

The MPDGuy MO is basically the only way I related to women from around 19 to ..um, well now I'm 36.

I think there are more of them in movies than the article gives credit, though that's further ammo for criticizing film portrayals since all the dream girls are so so similar. Johnny Depp played a MPDG in most of his early movies, it seems. Edward from Twilight almost counts in a (not great) way. I think the other issue is often the MPDGuy plays the lead in the movie and has more dimension (think Zombieland maybe or most of the movies with the Cera clones).

I really have no idea what I'm talking about, but it's OK because I am cute and I have a pet monkey and play a mean kazoo.

May 02 12 - 6:48pm
src

I'm not seeing Edward from Twilight as MPDG at all. In fact, he may be the opposite. But I'll agree with the rest of your comment because you are cute.

PS - WTF IS UP WITH THESE UNREADABLE CAPCHAS, NERVE???

May 02 12 - 9:19pm
mp

No doubt Edward is at best a half example, but my thinking is this: bella is boring, brooding, blah, etc. Edward is a sort of version of "perfection" and yet inexplicably becomes obsessed with her and suffers all her insufferable nonsense. In other words, a gender reversal of ever murikami novel.

May 02 12 - 10:55pm
nope

Actually, I think he's a pretty good example of the MPDGuy. She is dissatisfied with her life, he is a wild adventure that gives her purpose and direction. That's kind of the essential idea. And I think using him as an example is a good way of illustrating the central reason MPDGs suck: they're all about wish fulfillment. Wish fulfillment is, generally speaking, not a great way to go about writing things. I'd definitely prefer a decrease in MPDGs across the gender/sexuality board.

May 02 12 - 3:22pm
J

Check out the movie Prime- Uma Thurman doesn't exactly find her manic pixie dream guy- but its the closest you can come to it where the unlikely couple breaks up and it not a tragedy becayuse Uma is fulfilled by her MPDG.

May 02 12 - 3:46pm
Laura

Didn't you see Reality Bites?

May 03 12 - 7:33pm
GG

But they stayed together, too.

May 02 12 - 5:31pm
Thinkywritey

Brad Pitt in "Thelma & Louise"?

I liked this article and am now driven to find more examples of this character type. In more recent, indie-flavored flicks, it seems everyone is manic pixie.

May 02 12 - 9:20pm
mp

I don't think rape count as whimsical manic pixienishness.

May 03 12 - 12:24am
nn

Brad Pitt wasn't the rapist in Thelma & Louise. You're thinking of a different guy. Brad Pitt was the guy with a cute butt who sexed the blonde one then stole their money.

May 03 12 - 12:58pm
mp

oh crap you're right. I'd be ashamed but not knowing the details of T&L is not really something to be ashamed about.

May 02 12 - 9:22pm
huh

I really don't think of Summer in 500 Days of Summer as a MPDG. Basically, some immature, jerk guy failed to see his sort-of girlfriend as a whole person. Garden State is the better example of whimsical, potentially emotionally broken MPDG. Summer's just a twenty-something living in L.A. being mildly stalked by Joseph Gorgon Levitt.

May 03 12 - 5:51am
JCB

I thought the whole point of 500 Days of Summer was that she WASN'T an MPDG - just the ordinary female victim of a guy intent on having an MPDG. He never saw her as a person, only as a symbol for his own need for validation. Which is why she left him and ended up with someone else at the end.

May 03 12 - 1:02pm
Summer-defender

I'm LOVING seeing you two write about Summer in 500 Days of Summer in this way! So many people saw the movie and somehow decided that Summer was a bitch in it and pooooor Joseph Gordon! But that's not how I saw it at all. To me, it seemed like exactly what you said, that he didn't actually see her for who she was, and that it was not fullfilling to her to be so misunderstood,and why should she stay with a man who doesn't get her? What's in it for her to do that? So thanks, you two, for posting!

May 03 12 - 8:55pm
CN

Honestly, they were both pretty unlikable in that movie. Yeah, he didn't listen to what she wanted, but it seemed a lot of the time, especially at the end, that she was being mean to him because he liked her (if you broke up with a guy not long ago because he was more serious about you than you were about him, it's maybe not a great idea to flirt with him for an entire day while you're engaged). I left that film being pretty disgusted with them both.
That being said, I really enjoyed the movie, so whatever.

May 05 12 - 11:00am
Injest

Well, without trying to monopolize interpretations, mine was: JGL was a wholly fleshed out version of sad mopey obsessive loser and Zooey Deschanel was a wholly one-dimensional version of the flaky sprightly perfect MPDG. So although neither of them come out of it looking well and although there is somewhat of a commentary on how men idealize women, there wasn't enough auto-critique and Deschanel never seemed real enough for me. JGL still got off too easy, in other words, because the movie was saying Deschanel deserved to be stuck in an unhappy marriage whereas JGL matured and was rewarded by finding the girl of his dreams. I guess self-improvement is a male-exclusive right? If they were both so awful, they should have both been punished by their self-destructive tendencies as opposed to only Deschanel suffering. That would have been a much braver ending. I'd actually love the movie if JGL just ended up with another MPDG, because that's honestly how it usually goes. They're like catnip to romantic losers. Instead he gets the emotionally stable and extremely attractive Minka Kelly. Cool. And I never quite got over that title card in the beginning that called out the screenwriter's MPDG ex-girlfriend for being a "bitch." I feel like that cemented our identification too early and in a really ugly way. If we could've maintained some critical distance from both of them and seen how sad and lonely and doomed to failure they both were, it would've been much better. But the movie was implicitly rooting for JGL all along, even if he had some personal issues that he needed to work past. It's a start, but it still doesn't help much on the female representation front. Deschanel never becomes anything more than an object of adoration-then-hatred, for us and for JGL. She's the ghost of MPDGs past, and we're expected to hate her for it. Unless that's some meta-commentary on the audience's misogynist projection, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

May 02 12 - 10:41pm
Ree

I beg to differ. But real women hardly need MPDGuys to get over those slumps and fix themselves. That, IMO, is why they are rare in cinema.

May 03 12 - 12:35pm
Pedro

Ain't MPDG (guy, gay, girl, whatever) just an experience that was once known as "summer romance"?

May 05 12 - 11:04am
Injest

In a way yes, but MPDGirls/Guys are toxic once you try to build a lasting relationship with them (i.e. (500) Days of Summer). Summer romances are the harmless temporary versions of those disasters.

May 03 12 - 2:13pm
Franklin

The Doctor is the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Boy

May 03 12 - 7:36pm
GG

:D

May 03 12 - 2:17pm
Gigi

Viggo Mortensen in "A Walk on the Moon" for Diane Lane's character. Also Johnny Depp in "Edward Scissorhands"...sort of.

Jun 17 12 - 7:14pm
Kim

I think several Diane Lane characters have enjoyed MPDGuys

May 03 12 - 2:46pm
Gazbo

I'd add a third Johnny Depp with Mad Hatter in the latest Alice in Wonderland - actually seems like a perfect - and rare - example.
My favorite MPDGirl - Jordan in "Real Genius" (because she is truly manic, wildly pixyish, and though astoundingly talented, has no apparent ego or agenda whatsoever) - does indeed end up with the protagonist "happily ever after".

May 03 12 - 5:28pm
Emily

I think Jordan is as far as you can get from an MPDG. She's never at any point there to serve as an agenda for someone else. Yes, she's happens to be cute, and she is manic, but those are just tangential facts about her. She's just another project obsessed genius, blithely doing her own thing. sometimes joining in on group projects, and she and the protaganist get together is a very plausible "2 young nerds who don't really get this social stuff" way. She not at all agendaless, unless every college student trying to get good grades and learn stuff has no agenda. She's basically just like all the other nerds in the movie, she just happens to be female. She's actually one of the few realistic portrayals of a certain type of CalTech/MIT student, and I suspect most men wanting an MPDG would not be happy at all w/ a girl who spend all her time talking about science, even in the middle of parties.

Now, Val Kilmer's character in that movie is absolutely an MPDG, albeit a platonic one for out straight hero.

May 04 12 - 11:52am
Gazbo

I see your point, especially the part about Kilmer, but why wasn't Jordan "on the team"?
She could think, work, and innovate circles around most of those guys. She didn't seem to be treated as equally important - even though college students are like her - and was never shown as headed for any shining future, or in competition for a spot.
Anyway, for the record, I would have killed for a GF that smart and attractive, and (I admit it ) manic. So hot.

May 03 12 - 4:22pm
jason

nice ref

May 03 12 - 4:42pm
Alphagrrl

MmMmm....how about Claude in "Along Came Polly" ? Or almost any character that Owen Wilson plays...?

May 03 12 - 6:58pm
Sad Sad Sad

Can't you see where this is going? You say you want it, but you don't really want it. Men are already irresponsible. Men are already transient, commitment-phobic project types who are difficult to pin down. So silly. Next you'll be wanting Nancy Myers to make that female-centric Rambo movie you always dreamed of. Men want whimsical because women are serious. Women wan't serious because men aren't responsible. What if the Titanic had arrived at port safely? How would that have gone?

I think the best you are going to get is George Clooney in Leatherheads or David Walton in Bent. I liked both of them, but America didn't much care for them because America is chalk full of what looks exactly like a male Zooey... flakey.

May 03 12 - 7:05pm
ggg

This.

May 04 12 - 9:35pm
Yes,

exactly. Thank you.

May 07 12 - 3:17pm
L

"Men are already irresponsible. Men are already transient, commitment-phobic project types who are difficult to pin down." Huh? I guess the three of you have had your hearts broken by men who just happen to fit this description. Or maybe you spend an inordinate amount of time watching romantic comedies and sitcoms. I've dated four men, each of whom worried constantly about their finances, future careers, and whether we were going to get married. They couldn't have been less interested in my suggestions to go on spontaneous road trips or get drunk on the beach late at night. I think some of us are doomed to attract (and be attracted to) people that are guided by opposite impulses.

May 03 12 - 7:43pm
Nemi

How about Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything? He was devoted to her and they ended up together, but beyond that, isn't he sort of MPDG-ish?

May 03 12 - 8:15pm
Mary

I really didn't feel like reading through all of these other comments so sorry if someone has already mentioned this but there is a manic pixie dream guy in Eat, Pray, Love. It isn't Felipe, who she ends up with, but David from the beginning who performs in her play, introduces her to her guru and sends her on her spiritual journey .

May 03 12 - 9:43pm
McKit

You must have not seen the very limited release The Dish & The Spoon. The main male character is 100% Manic Pixie

May 04 12 - 2:58am
jojo

I think Darren Criss is going to play a sort of manic pixie boy in Kristin Wiig's new movie, "Imogen".

May 04 12 - 6:53am
Malina

Holly Golightly in the book of Breakfast at Tiffany's... less so in the film as she hooks up with 'Fred' instead of flying off into the sunset.

Kate Hudson tries for the MPDG persona in every film she's in... She must hate Zooey Deschannel for beating her to it in the public consciousness.

May 04 12 - 10:40am
anon

i have one of these of the drummer variety. really helpful for me right after a 7 yr relationship. he's adorable and sweet but very unreliable. i genuinely value what we have but yeah, it is what it is.

May 04 12 - 9:45pm
Ahlaiah Toney

Sweet Charity - A very special version of the manic pixie dream guy leaves Shirley McClaine in the very last scene.

May 05 12 - 5:58pm
jojo

Liza is a manic (depressive) pixie dream girl in The Sterile Cuckoo (breaks my heart). Is Sally Bowles a pixie as well?

May 07 12 - 8:34am
megan

I think we have a warped version of the MPDG in music as a kind of scamp traveling troubadour. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" (Bob Dylan version), most Bright Eyes, maybe "Photobooth," some Elliott Smith. It kind of lives in the overlap of emo and folk. But thats all I can think of.

May 07 12 - 3:04pm
L

Haven't thought this through enough yet, but how about Jordan Catalano in My So Called Life? I know they went to the same high school so he was never really out of the picture, but he was a dumb, dreamy, moody musician who existed mostly in Angela's fantasies. He broke her heart more than once and we were still glad they got together!

May 20 12 - 4:45am
Ram

Brad Pitt in "Thelma & Louise" is the example you were looking for.

Jun 09 12 - 1:50am
.

I am not sure if MPDB refers to "the muse" (though this has mostly referred to women). Do I think men can be artists? Yes. However, as someone who went to art school and who has met enough musicians/ artists / etc, and grew up in a surf town I have absolutely NO fantasies of men playing the muse. Because it mostly just translates to "I don't want to pay my rent, and in addition to not contributing anything, I am going to steal all of your ideas and take credit for them".

If it's like a pool boy fantasy, then cool, have your fun. Maybe it's an empowering role reversal for a girl who used to be a groupie.

But while everyone knows who Jack Kerouac is, there are few people can name the female writers of that time period. Everyone knows who ee cummings is, but fewer know Djuna Barnes. It's been expected for almost all of history for men to travel the world, and for women to stay at home. Women's creative energy could be co-opted by men to create something that they got credit for, until pretty recently.

If you want to create something, you don't need a groupie, is all I'm saying. There is a reason women have been thought of as the muse, we just haven't been given credit for that force unless we fought for that. And if you feel like taking care of someone, there are kids without parents, there are children to babysit whose care for which you'll receive payment, there are dogs in shelters to adopt, there are a lot of other causes apart from whiny white boys whom the world "just doesn't understand".

Jul 05 12 - 11:32pm
Roboseyo

"A handsome man with tousled hair and an aversion to commitment showed up at my door, suitcase in hand, seeking shelter from the storm. (Okay, he'd called beforehand, but still.) We had a two-day romance — he played music, I wore a dress, we talked for hours. Then he disappeared from my life on a six-a.m. flight, and that was that. It was the emotional and quirky hit-it-and-quit-it."

Umm... that's basically the storyline of "Bridges of Madison County" -- if "Manic Pixie Dream Senior" is a thing.

Jul 11 12 - 7:12am
Ti

Maybe I'm stretching the definition overly far, but the following male roles seemed to have something MPD-ish about them: sexy, quirky, ciphers for their female counterparts:

V -- "V for Vendetta"
Howl -- "Howl's Moving Castle"
Ricky -- "American Beauty"
Holden -- "The Good Girl" (CLASSIC, must-see for this topic)

Also, multiple roles by Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem.

Jul 11 12 - 11:01pm
CMarie

Have y'all seen Breathless? He could totally pass for a manic pixie dream boy.

Jul 14 12 - 4:53am
Kitt

It's not "Hollywood," but check out Santana in "By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead" by Julie Anne Peters. He fits the common terminally ill subset of the MPDG. I won't spoil the ending, but I'll say I think it might be what you're looking for in a MPDB plot

Jul 25 12 - 9:31am
Chriss

the whole point of 'Queen Termite' Zoey's performance in (500) Days of Summer was to show that nobody in real life would actually want to date a manic pixie girl or guy. They're not looking for commitment, while in real life, most people are. They're not looking for a relationship or a shoulder to cry on in bad times, they're just there to flirt and smile.
They're horrible people who you need 500 days to get over. Why would we want more of them on tv/hollywood?

Aug 27 12 - 10:20pm
Ms. Robs

I've had my fair share, to be honest, guitar, backpack, cheap wine, bohemian air and all. But I had a great time with them. I must admit, some of the craziest and funniest nights in my youth were thanks to them - and I'm thankful for all I've lived! I've laughed my head off, acquired weird music tastes, and wandered randomly, hand-in-hand with them on unusual corners of my city at late times. They were foreigners. I'd feel the jittery rush of attraction from the radiant smile of these rare male creatures, who make you forget your ordinary life with their twinkly eyes.

Nevertheless, I got fed up with them (and quite bored, to be honest) and then I wanted someone, well, REAL - who maybe didn't play an ukulele or told stories of backpacking in India or South America, but who'd enjoy to spend a quiet time with me on the couch after working hard at a regular job. Someone who knew what it was like to pay bills, earn your living, and actually come from a real family - and not give you the impression that he spontaneously originated at your doorstep.

BTW, I watched the movie "What's Your Number?" with Anna Faris and Chris Evans, and I must say his character is quite close to the male counterpart of a manic pixie dream girl. We know nothing about his personal life but, he's in-between jobs, a struggling musician, charming and quirky - not to mention so sexy your pants fall to the floor! Aaaand: he encourages unemployed Ally (the main character) to follow her passion of building quirky little sculptures and enjoy herself as she is. Whatcha think?