Mr. Roosevelt ★★★½

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is officially dead, and the Girl with a Cracked iPhone Screen has taken her place. That’s not as catchy (it kind of sounds like the least exciting Stieg Larsson novel of all time), but it still feels like progress. The old trope was just a foil for some forlorn male protagonist, less of an actual person than an adorkable fairy godmother whose sole purpose in life was to restore a sense of self-worth to an aimless dude who forgot how to generate his own. The new trope, on the other hand, is alive — she creates her own context.

Usually a twenty something who is falling short of her potential, The Girl with a Cracked iPhone Screen is a mess, she doesn’t have a ton of money (shout out to the gig economy), and she makes an audience of millennials feel comparatively stable. Odds are, she wants to be a comedian. Or a journalist. Or maybe she has no idea what she wants to be, and is just totally captivated by how Greta Gerwig can waltz through life like she never has to choose. It doesn’t matter, the important thing is that she’s the lead character in her own story. The Girl with a Cracked iPhone Screen is every bit as scatterbrained and self-possessed as her predecessor, but if she purely exists in relation to some guy, she only does so at the beginning of the movie, before she’s embarked on the kind of personal journey that Manic Pixie Dream Girls only ever got to facilitate.

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