There is this trope for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She is a creative and free spirit whose use is to help the (usually male) protagonist learn to express themselves.While I find stories that utilize the trope tired and renders a woman as a tool, I have nothing against the person themselves. In fact, I wish there would be more stories from the perspective of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl's perspective. A film I watched that did a bit of deconstructing of this trope was a film called Happy Go Lucky, and it was about your typical type for a Manic Pixie Dream Girl: "quirky", lighthearted, and a free spirit.The film, however, was shot from her everyday perspective and showed her motivations and trials with having such a personality.You rarely have that when the story is from the perspective of the man who needs that kind of woman to fix them. I'm not going to give away more about the story because I recommend you see it yourselves.
Where was I getting at? Oh yes: names. The name of the main character in the film Happy Go Lucky is Poppy. On reflection, I realized that of course her name would be Poppy. Poppy is upbeat, brings to mind the color red, and is a name better carried by bohemians than accountants.That is the essence of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG: they live outside the corporate world and have no need to have a professional air about themselves.Their names can be cutesy or weird or plain and nobody within their artistic circle would care.
Another "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" who isn't quite a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl is Clementine from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She has all the trappings of a MPDG: cool style (and awesome hair!), eccentric, and her name is Clementine. Her character "archeotype", like in Happy Go Lucky, is also deconstructed. Clementine bites back. But I am still hung up on her name.It's a true darling.
However, while the two films were deconstructions of the MPDG, the film that pretty much brought this trope to it's full definition is the film Garden State. The MPDG in this film who does what all MPDG's do is named Sam. From my name-fancying perspective, the name Sam is a bit of a letdown.I can imagine the person writing this film trying to find an oh-so-quirky name and finding it oh-so-original that girl would go by Sam. Never mind the popularity of Samantha and how Sam is the obvious nickname for every little Samantha once she shows a whiff of tomboyishness.That is my main problem with the traditional use of the MPDG: she has so much potential to be cool (and have names like Clementine and Poppy), but the director just turns her into something traditional (Sam) in the end, thinking it's oh-so-original.
In honor of Sam, Here are some names that truly suit a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.They are special and lighthearted and suit a free spirit.