Ruby Sparks, out tomorrow, marks the latest riff on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype (see also: “The Katie Willert Video Experience“). As its writer/star Zoe Kazan told The New York Times , the film is a reaction to cinema’s disappointingly limited female leads, or characters she calls “one shade away from being true.” Like (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb, Kazan has made it clear in interviews that Ruby Sparks is not about a MPDG, but rather the fallout of this fantastical ideal. Just how far removed from reality is the MPDG? Check out our supercut below for an (abridged) history of the characters that have come to define the term film critic Nathan Rabin famously coined in 2007. But bear in mind, there are lots of bubbles, giggles, and googly eyes, not to mention some awesomely atrocious dance moves by a young Jeff Daniels.
CREDITS edited by MICHELLE RAFFERTY music by OLIVER featuring (in order of appearance): NATALIE PORTMAN – Garden State DIANE KEATON – Annie Hall CHARLIZE THERON – Sweet November JENNIFER ANISTON – Along Came Polly BARBRA STREISAND – What’s Up, Doc? JULIE ANDREWS – The Sound of Music ZOOEY DESCHANEL – Yes Man DARYL HANNAH – Splash MEG RYAN – Joe Versus the Volcano JULIETTE LEWIS – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape SARAH JESSICA PARKER – L.A. Story KIRSTEN DUNST – Elizabethtown PENELOPE CRUZ – Vanilla Sky KATHARINE HEPBURN – Bringing Up Baby GEENA DAVIS – The Accidental Tourist MILA KUNIS – Forgetting Sarah Marshall LEIGH TAYLOR-YOUNG – I Love You, Alice B. Toklas AUDREY HEPBURN – Breakfast at Tiffany’s PAIGE O’HARA – Beauty and the Beast MELANIE GRIFFITH – Something Wild MARILYN MONROE – Some Like It Hot KATE HUDSON – Almost Famous