Mindy Kaling on Seven Rom-Com Archetypes

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl has some new friends in the pantheon of romantic-comedy fantasies. Mindy Kaling, an actress and writer for The Office, defines the Klutz, a perfect-looking woman whom screenwriters attempt to humanize by making clumsy. “Despite being five feet nine and weighing a hundred and ten pounds, she is basically like a drunk buffalo who has never been a part of human society,” writes Kaling. There’s also the Woman Who Is Obsessed With Her Career and Is No Fun at All, the Sassy Best Friend, the Woman Who Works in an Art Gallery, and the Forty-two-Year-Old Mother of the Thirty-Year-Old Male Lead. Kaling writes: “I am so brainwashed by the young-mom phenomenon that when I saw the poster for The Proposal I wondered for a second if the proposal in the movie was Ryan Reynolds’ suggesting that he send his mother, Sandra Bullock, to an old-age home.”