Zoe Kazan Right That Term ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ Seems Misogynistic, Should ‘Die’
5:30 pm, July 25th | by Laura Donovan
“Ruby Sparks,” which hits theaters today, could be described as every man’s fantasy: Creatively stunted novelist Calvin writes about a fictional woman who manifests into a real person — and does anything he wants her to do. As his brother says in the trailer, any guy would kill to have a woman at his command.
But the carefree, whimsical Sparks, who dons Calvin’s long shirt and overpowers the screen with her big eyes, is neither a puppet nor a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG), according to actress Zoe Kazan. The 28-year-old portrays Ruby and expressed irritation when asked by Vulture whether Ruby is a MPDG:
“I am not a fan [of the term]. Look, I don’t think of her as that…that term is a term that was invented by a blogger, and I think it’s more of a term that applies in critical use than it does in creative use. It’s a way of describing female characters that’s reductive and diminutive, and I think basically misogynist…I just think the term really means nothing; it’s just a way of reducing people’s individuality down to a type, and I think that’s always a bad thing. And I think that’s part of what the movie is about, how dangerous it is to reduce a person down to an idea of a person…I just think it’s misogynist. I don’t want that term to survive. I want it to die.”
That’s correct. The term has been around for a while, most recently to describe fellow doe-eyed celebrity Zooey Deschanel. The problem, as Kazan said, is that the phrase pigeonholes and diminishes a character. She put it best when she added:
“I think that to lump together all individual, original quirky women under that rubric is to erase all difference.”
There are countless ways to be an edgy onscreen female, and being categorized as a MPDG is really limiting.