Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Cinematic Scourge? They're bright, they're perky — and they've got no inner life. In fact, they exist only to soothe the tortured souls of the male lead. A lighthearted look at MPDGs throughout movie history.

Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Cinematic Scourge?

Manic Pixie Dream Girls: A Cinematic Scourge?

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Who's just as cute as a button? Who's the most deliciously delirious young woman, always up to her false eyelashes in madcap romps?

It's the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, of course.

Film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term after seeing actress Kirsten Dunst in the 2005 movie Elizabethtown. The Manic Pixie is, in his words, "that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl isn't a recent creation: You've seen her in plenty of movies, including some real classics. (Rabin and his colleagues at the Onion A.V. Club came up with a list of the Top 16.)

That list, not surprisingly, triggered cranky responses from various corners of the Internet — notably the Web site Jezebel, which called the MPDG "the scourge of modern cinema."

But then Manic Pixie Dream Girls are nothing if not provocative. Comment boards seethe with heated debate: Does Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind count as an MPDG, or does she evince signs of an inner life? What about Maggie Gyllenhaal, in Stranger Than Fiction? Is Ruth Gordon, in Harold and Maude, too old to be an MPDG?

And is there such a thing as a Manic Pixie Dream Guy?

You tell us: We'll look forward to hearing about your favorite (and least favorite) MPDGs — and to responding to your comments below.