The Natalie Portman Problem

By August 6, 2008Nat-news

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?


Author Dazza

More posts by Dazza

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • omgzrachel says:

    I didn’t think Sam was that offensive. Yeah, Garden State was so-so, but I’m not getting the outrage that people feel after they see that movie.

  • planet-ex says:

    I am also not sure if that was meant bad. I know the AV club for a while now, and when they want to make something bad, they don’t hide it that good. Be sure of that ;).

  • planet-ex says:

    Oh, I think I misunderstood what you wrote. Please forget both of this messages….you can delete them!

  • dazza says:

    I could 😛

  • Nannina says:

    “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is a trope in movies, and can be quite annoying, but I felt Sam had a little more to her than many of the others. Also Zach Braff’s Largeman had more to him than most of the classic recipients of MPDG love. My Sassy Girl on the other hand looks by the trailer to be one heck of an annoying movie.

    And it is absolute sacrilege to say that Shirley MacLaine in the Apartment didn’t have anything else going on with her than making a Jack Lemmon a better man. The Apartment is a damn near perfect film.

  • planet-ex says:

    Arrrgh!!! Thank you so much 😛

  • Teo says:

    I only got halfway through Garden State because I found it really boring and the characters (especially Nat’s character) were extremely annoying to me. The only good thing that I can remember about the movie was the song she was listening to.

  • downwithbears says:

    I liked Sam too. I thought she was a lot more interesting than most female characters. I think a lot of women found her annoying, but women love hating on each other so that’s not a big surprise.

    I can’t wait to find my MPDG who will devote her life to fixing all my problems and insecurities. I’ve been waiting for years so it should be any minute now………

  • jesslv74 says:


  • tunis says:

    I loved Kate’s performance in Almost Famous, definitely her best role so far.. and probably ever. Director’s cut is just breath-taking, and Kate sliding around the gym with that rose in her hand after the concert is so cute.
    I bought for Sam too.. just an original character, a bit weird but open-hearted.