I realized recently that, if I'm being honest, I haven't really completely outgrown the homeless-person-on-acid style of dress that I adopted as a kid. I'd like to think I dress like a halfway grown-up, semi-sane person on some days. But there's always that Punky Brewster-esque quirk-monster bubbling just beneath the surface.
Here's another revelation: I'm pretty sure this carefree-to-a-fault style is an undeniable component in that infamous cinematic stock character known as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. If you're not familiar with the concept, this term refers to the expressive, uninhibited, free-spirited chick who rocks the leading man's world through her bubbly personality and impulsive behavior, opening his heart and making him reconsider his whole view of life. The only problem with these characters is that they're often, by definition, lacking in dimension, because their scripted purpose is to brighten up some dude's life, and maybe accept his help and support if that helps him on his own journey toward self actualization. These girls are often simply idealized projections of men. Think of Natalie Portman in Garden State, or Charlize Theron in Sweet November.
However, it's worth noting that not all MPDGs fall prey to this, if you're paying attention. While plenty of Manic Pixie Dream Girl type characters in movies are indeed two-dimensional, having been projected by the male screenwriters who created them, there are also movies that utilize the MPDG trope to point out the very absurdity of how dudes tend to do this to girls in real life. In films like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the notion that the MPDG in the story is somehow the answer to all the guy's problems is actually highlighted within the narrative as being totally effing absurd, and it turns out that the dreamgirl in question has problems of her own. We get to see how the male character in the story has idealized and projected all his longing onto one colorfully dressed chick, but we also get to see that he's an immature idiot for seeing a woman as a mere projection of his own desires, not a real person with her own story.
Those are the kind of MPDG characters I really dig -- the angry, flawed, realistic ones. Being a hyperactive, overwhelmingly positive, borderline-annoyingyly exuberant chick myself, I've found myself identifying with the MPDG in plenty of movies, but when the movie sucks and the characters are 2D, that just makes me feel dirty.
Anyway, like I said, I've also identified with the wardrobe of the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl, which runs the gamut from adorably lazy to downright mentally ill. So lets take a brief tour of the fashion statements made by two of my favorite 3D MPDGs -- which I'll henceforth refer to as Manic Pixie Dream Bitches.
"I've dabbled in being a bitch."
-Ramona Flowers, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
-Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind