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Film Studies 101
Feature
How To Make The Indiest Indie Movie Ever
Cute extrovert girl, meet gawky introvert boy...

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How To Make The Indiest Indie Movie Ever | 2. Cast A Manic Pixie Dream Girl
2. Cast A Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Key characteristic: Exuberance.

Optional characteristics: Any number of loveable quirks (e.g. particularly loud hiccoughs, the inability to pronounce certain words properly, being too pretty); a willingness to bend the rules; a shared passion with the gawky male lead for their favourite band/film/breed of dog; the ability to see something in the gawky male lead he himself can’t see; childlike playfulness; a love of eye make-up, outlandish hair colouring and old-fashioned bicycles.

As her character in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown inspired The A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin (My Year Of Flops, The Big Rewind) to come up with the term “Manic pixie dream girl” in the first place, consider Kirsten Dunst, if only for her excellent pretending-to-take-photographs-with-her-fingers and roadtrip mixtape-making skills.

With Hollywood being Hollywood, you’re going to want to aim young with your dream girl casting here. A tip of the rather daring wide-brimmed hat, then, to Katherine Hepburn (Bringing Up Baby), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Meg Ryan (Joe Versus The Volcano), Ruth Gordon (Harold And Maude) and Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast At Tiffany’s) and a sycophantic email to the agents of Zooey Deschanel (Yes Man, Our Idiot Brother, Gigantic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, (500) Days Of Summer) Natalie Portman (Garden State), Ellen Page (Juno), Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), Jennifer Aniston (Along Came Polly), Amy Adams (The Muppets), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Emma Stone (Easy A), Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) and Ellie from Up. Okay, maybe not Ellie from Up, but you get the idea.

Also cast your critical eye over Jane Levy (TV’s Suburgatory), whose upcoming roles in Fun Size and Nobody Walks (alongside Olivia Thirlby) are bound to launch her into the manic pixie stratosphere.

Wardrobe: Cardigans, floral dresses, ribbons in her hair, ribbons generally, tomboyish clothing (sometimes), MASSIVE HEADPHONES, the gawky male lead on her arm as they run off to do something utterly charming utterly unexpectedly.

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Your Comments

1 90s
Is it just me or is the "indie" flick playing the 90s infront of people who are too young to be nostalgic? i should mention at this point that i am quite partial to "indie" flicks. And I am too young to be nostalgic. Anyway, I'm going to go and play Pokemon on my Gameboy now, while listening to to Cypress Hill and watching Star Trek: Voyager. And then make a film about it. More

Posted by sipi on Wednesday October 17, 2012, 22:20

2 What?
Ellen Page is a must for leading Lady in an Indie flick More

Posted by CambiMan on Tuesday October 16, 2012, 17:21

3 RE: Great Gerwig?
Inde films suck so much 90% of the time. More

Posted by NeoBrowser on Monday October 15, 2012, 04:46

4 Great Gerwig?
Think you might have meant Greta... Unless it was an intentional mistake commentating on her quality in Greenberg. If so hats off. If not claim it was. More

Posted by ahaig on Friday October 12, 2012, 15:01

5 Tony The Teddy Soprano
All them movis are wank, everyone of them. They are all Junos. eXCPET Where The Wild Things Are. The most un-child friendly child movie i ever seen in my life. And the best movie from the past 10 years. Cataclysmically underlooked. More

Posted by burtbondy on Friday October 12, 2012, 10:47

6 E B
With Adjustment Bureau it's more that she's the pretty girl that takes the bored man out of his humdrum existence type thing... More

Posted by Ali Plumb on Friday October 12, 2012, 09:10

7 Todd VanDerWerff Strikes Again
I dont think even he knew Manic Pixie Dream Girl would enter the lexicon so solidly... Dang... I love his blog too. So yeah. Interesting list. More

Posted by kisswithatear on Friday October 12, 2012, 04:06

8 Adjustment Bureau - 'indie'?!
Hardly, I would argue. Unless you're just putting it there just for info on roles that Emily Blunt has played, in which case I apologise. More

Posted by polkadotty5 on Friday October 12, 2012, 01:40

9
Is this supposed to be part of your "Indy" week, you punning japesters...? More

Posted by JamieNC on Thursday October 11, 2012, 17:10


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