Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl
Garden Road Pictures, 2018
📷 : Used with permission, Kylie Murphy
Movies/shows that make you laugh or involve physical activity like exercise/dance
An old saying goes, “There is a grain of truth in every joke.” Such is the case in Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl, a clever comedy short poking fun at an all too common media trope.
For those unfamiliar, many creators of sci-fi and romantic comedies tend to write heavily infantilized female characters, often referred to as manic pixie dream girls. The character may be a mermaid, alien, ghost, or simply a recluse unfamiliar with civilized society. When she comes across the protagonist, typically male, he introduces her to a life she’s never known. Coincidentally, the manic pixie dream girl is often inexperienced in dating, sex and relationships (in other words, easy to manipulate). This trope character, and the works that contain it, are often viewed as the male writers living out their fantasies through their scripts.
Writer/director Kylie Murphy’s short satirizes this trope by jumping between the real world setting of two male writers finishing their script and the fictional world that they are creating. Their main character experiences a breakup and meets the dream girl in question. The writers finish their script by using a book of mad libs to create the setting, dialogue and many other clichéd details that appear in many such comedies. The dream girl widens her eyes, sucks on a lollipop and plays her folk band CD for the protagonist, humorously highlighting the unrealistic nature of their interactions. These moments are clearly meant to poke fun at films such as Garden State, Splash, and Along Came Polly.
While the short mocks this formulaic approach, it also brings into focus the influence media can have on the thinking of young impressionable minds. Writers are certainly responsible for their own work, but they draw inspiration from what appears to have been successful in the past. Mad Lib Pixie Dream Girl is well worth the watch and the discussion.