Friday, 16 October 2009

Manic Pixie Dream Characters

I have spent the past three days sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself because of SICKNESS. Yuck. This afternoon, for a bit of a change, I decided to go to the video store to get out Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. While I was there I saw Sunshine Cleaning had come out and Charlie Bartlett FINALLY made it to Australia (straight-to-DVD release, I'm afraid). I quickly devoured Nick and Norah and Charlie Bartlett (cannibal!) but I've decided to leave Sunshine Cleaning for tomorrow when the parents are in Brisbane.

Instead I will blog here in the dark, on my MacBook, listening to Relient K. Delicious.

Actually I'm having trouble concentrating on what I want to write because I'm rather awkwardly flailing my arms around in time with the music. I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true.

AMAZING NEWS: I've reached 100 followers on this blog. Surely that means I'm set for a book deal right? Right? And guess who the 100th follower is? MY HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER! Hello Mr Schwartz!

Charlie Bartlett was a great film, did you know that? You should watch it. If you've been following for a while you'll know I've been ruminating on the character archetype of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Well! I would like to argue that Charlie Bartlett is a Manic Pixie Dream BOY. Watch out, ladies, for he will RUIN YOU for real men. I am genuinely intimidated by him and one day I will go out and buy a suit coat so I can wear it over t-shirts just like he does. Then maybe if I keep my mouth shut I will be mistaken for him! I am certainly skinny enough! HELLO EVERYONE MY NAME IS ROHAN AND I AM NOT ALONE! DADDY I THINK I AM SLUFFING!

What a flighty character he is, and bad, but not too bad! He defies authority so he can help people, kind of like Robin Hood! And he makes friends with his enemies! And he is rich! And he is a good listener!

I mean, I think he works really well as a character, and the movie is great. I just want to point out that Edward Cullen isn't the only unreasonable character crush you could have. I mean, I'm pretty sure John Green summed it up better than that... something about that Edward Cullen is an idea and falling in love with an idea will not keep you warm at night. I spent an hour or something looking for that video, but do you think I could find it? *Sigh* Anyway, I think Charlie Bartlett is an idea, just as much as Edward Cullen is an idea (although Charlie actually has, you know, a personality and is, uh, actually likeable).

Maybe all characters in fictional works are simply ideas, and although emotional attachment is what gives them the power to move us, we should be careful about how much power we allow them to have.

I'm seriously considering exploring this idea in a NaNoWriMo novel. I wasn't sure if I was going to do it this year (I'm yet to win it) but Hayley, with her wily ways, convinced me to go through with it. I'm imagining a scenario where two Manic Pixie characters duke it out in a battle royale. WHO IS THE MOST FLIGHTY? WHO CAN MOST EFFECTIVELY UNDERMINE AUTHORITY? WHO WILL GO OUT IN THE BIGGEST BLAZE OF GLORY?

Now you will have to excuse me for I'm off to read Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Recommendation: Looking for Alaska by John Green. I've decided I don't like it as much as Paper Towns, but my word it's a close call. I'm reading this one for the second time and I am just as in love with Alaska as I ever was the first time around. It's just such an intricate book, and the characters are so personable. It has attracted some controversy, but the controversy completely misses to point of this novel. This is a book I'll probably own forever, just because I'll buy it again and again so I'll always have a copy on hand.


  1. Damn straight, you're doing Nano. Daaaamn straight.

  2. Charlie Bartlett as a character is a bit of an update on Ferris Bueller. He has ambitions and for some reason the world immediately around him is compelled to help him because he seems like such a nice guy. Robert Downey Jr. is amazing in that movie.

    What did you think of Nick & Norah? I really enjoy that flick. Looks like present day American teen/20 something flicks aren't worthy of theatrical release in Australia. The ones you mentioned are amongst the best of the genre at the moment too. unfortunate indeed.

  3. I too love Looking for Alaska, maybe even a little more than Papertowns purely because of my sentimentality towards the characters. I think for my Nano I might try and create a Manic Pixie Dream Boy.