Maybe we haven’t been fair to Zooey Deschanel, she’s got bills to pay just like the rest of us and let’s just agree having to promote her show New Girl is punishment enough. Deschanel makes her money being The Manic Pixie Dream Girl and at least here she's able to laugh at herself.
Finding new ways to remain the Manic Pixie Dream Girl princess cannot be easy, allowing magazines to attribute such quotes as this to you: “I would go shopping for vintage clothes, and I once bought this really pretty, but giant, 1950s pink prom dress. I was wearing this with a tiara in my bedroom, at my computer, dressed like a princess just to do my homework.” Well, it just can’t be easy being Head Manic Pixie Dream Girl; she’s screwed up on that quote because we all know MPDGs use typewriters not computers.
Instead, if you still have excess ire, why not turn your gaze to the object of MPDG’s affection? Zach Braff in Garden State (that film opens with a Coldplay track. Make of that what you will but I believe this disqualifies it from the prefix Indie or Cool), Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer and Michael Cera in everything.
To call them Manic Pixie Dream Boys doesn’t quite work. They usually are waiting around for someone to make them better without making them recognise their middle class white boy privilege. The MPDG is in her own little world, too busy drawing unicorns in her exercise book (or, of course, at her TYPEWRITER wearing a poufy dress and tiara) to wait for anything. So the similarities tend not to go beyond musical tastes and spectacles.
So what epithet can we come up with to describe this male character?
Surprisingly it’s Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel that gives us the new definition. Whilst Deschanel is busy sending up Mary-Kate Olsen (sometimes I too like to pretend it’s still 2004 Zooey and that’s OK) opposite Abby Elliott’s rather crushing Deschanel impression trying to out quirk each other Taran Killian’s Michael Cera has been bumbling around the kitchen baking and ‘omigosh’-ing. Just before ‘Cera’ can totally steal the show Kristen Wiig, decked out as Bjork, puts her head round the door…
“Hi Tiny Baby Man.”