Watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind yesterday. Even though people have been raving, I wasn’t expecting much from this film. I thought it was going to be Jim Carrey yet again making goofy faces (and I have to say the trailers certainly play to this notion) but it is not. What this film is, is mind-blowing. I’m in love with it and by the end I was crying and overjoyed. My reaction could be because I had only slept two hours the night before and was out of my mind, but I don’t think so. I think this movie really is special.
The premise is that this “doctor” has created a method of erasing memories from one’s mind–a technique sought after by many jilted lovers. The problem is that it doesn’t really stick–once all of the crappy memories are gone, the love remains or comes back. It never really dies.
When Joel (Jim Carrey) tries to wipe Clementine (Kate Winslet) from his mind, he decides mid-stream that he doesn’t want to and tries to hide from the erasing. That in watching his memories fade one by one, he realizes he still loves her. And when they come to the final memory–when they met and broke into a house on the beach together–he changes the course of their memories and instead of walking away, Joel (at Clementine’s urging) goes back and kisses her. The initial passion is recaptured. It is what remains. Afterward, when they meet again, fall for each other and then learn that they have wiped each other out (and listen to their tapes)–they remain together, at least for now and despite their foibles.
Okay, so superficially this is about the memory erasing but this erasing is a metaphor for what happens as love grows old and presumably “dies.” We forget all of those wonderful, magical moments with our beloved and turn him into the person we ultimately despise and end up in counseling or whatever saying mean shit about him and picking apart his every action from how she dyes her hair crazy colors to how he smiles lamely at everything we say. And if we could just remember what it was about him we loved, maybe love would not die, maybe love would be reborn. I’m making it sound crap but it really is a wonderful movie. I will watch it again–likely more than once.
The acting is superb–not one crappy performance in the bunch. Jim Carrey was outstanding and generous in working with the other actors–I never once got the feeling he was trying to steal the show or be JIM CARREY. Kate Winslet as Clementine, was perfection. Oh, I love this movie.