1. “I’m sorry for coining the phrase ’Manic Pixie Dream Girl.’” In 2007, Nathan Rabin invented the term in a review. Then he watched in queasy disbelief as it seemed to take over pop culture.
“In the years since I wrote about the MPDG, I’ve been floored by how pervasive the trope has become. At first it was just a few scattered mentions in other critics’ reviews. Then Zooey Deschanel strummed a ukulele and became a Hollywood It girl and suddenly the MPDG was everywhere. During one particularly strange day in 2011, I read that Cameron Crowe (the man behind Elizabethtown, as well as Almost Famous and much else) was asked about the phrase and replied, ’I dig it…I keep thinking I’ll run into Nathan Rabin and we’ll have a great conversation about it.’ This blew my mind. I have been writing about pop culture for a long time but I could honestly not believe that Cameron Crowe knew my name and thought about meeting me someday. But the more the cultural myth of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl expanded, the more my ambivalence about it grew.”