Monday, June 8, 2009

Heroine Archetype - The Spunky Kid

“Never say never” is the motto for The Spunky Kid. She’s an all-American girl with a butt-load of optimism who doesn’t know how to give up. This woman won’t fret when her jeep runs out of gas in the freeway. Nor will she be a basket case and pitch a crying fit when she notices the radiator is busted. She’ll simply flag down help or call AAA and get her eternal optimistic self on the road again. She pushes forward without a second thought for quitting is not an option.

The Spunky Kid has her own niche, not conforming to a girly-girly or a tomboy but somewhere in between, with the ability to be both. She opts to be herself, whether that’s making wisecracks with the guys over a few beers or shopping with her friends in the mall. When nudged, she can morph into quite a tempting lady, dropping jaws with little effort or makeup.

Determined and uplifting, she has many friends and few enemies. She’s not the life of the party or the center of attention. She’s a supportive and reliable friend. She’ll be the one to make the lemonade out of the lemons when in a pinch.

Her love-life is undesirable and quite jumbled. Blending in, she’s the eternal bridesmaid - as Katherine Heigl was in 27 Dresses. Or the overlooked secretary, like Kate Winslet in The Holiday.

More examples of The Spunky Kid’s moxie can be found in the following films: Fiona in Shrek, Cameron Diaz in Something About Mary, Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, and Isla Fisher in Wedding Crashers.

What Spunky Kids have I left out? Cameron Diaz and Meg Ryan seem perfect for this archetype. Several of Julia Roberts’ movies are close calls. Steel Magnolias, for example? Or how about Runaway Bride? Diane Lane in Under The Tuscan Sun? Or is she perhaps more of a Free Spirit? Let me know what you think!

Sloan Seymour

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