That original A.V Club article, about “Manic Pixie Dream Girls”, seems to have sites lining up to take a swing. Garden State and Natalie’s character from it, Sam, seem to be the face of these films and characters. No greater example is the newest punch aimed at Sam’s adorable nose, a Salon article entitled “The Natalie Portman Problem”.
Personally, as with any character type, there are good examples and bad examples. I guess Sam isn’t for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed the character and bought into the fantasy of her. Another performance being mentioned is Kate Hudson in Almost Famous. I generally can’t stand Kate but thought her Penny Lane was pitch perfect, especially in the directors cut.
What say you?