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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


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I'd like to preface this with one fact about myself. I do not like Jim Carrey's movies (The Truman Show was the only real exception to this). I have seen a fair number of them and feel that this opinion has held true. On the other hand, I have really liked other scripts from Kaufman (especially Being John Malkovich) so I though I'd give this a shot. I'm glad I did, I absolutely loved this movie and can easily reccomend it. The casting (especially Carrey), story, and filming were all spot on.


Jim Carrey was absolutely the right choice for the leading role. He gives a wonderful performance portraying the painfully shy and uncertain Joel. Kate Winslet is great as Clementine, the live by the moment crazy girlfriend who Joel decides to have erased from his memory (only after she has it done first). The supporting cast does a very nice job as well, although I fear Elijah Wood is now permanently typecast in my mind, as I could only think Frodo whenever he was on the screen.


The basic storyline is that Joel undergoes a "treatment" to erase the memories of his now ended relationship. Things don't go quite right and so the movie unfolds. It's an interesting reverse progression through Joel and Clementine's relationship, seeing the pain of the recent portions when things have broken down, moving back to the times when things are stable, and eventually arriving at the beginning when everything is new (I much prefer the stable times myself, but there is something almost magical about the beginning of a relationship when everything is a new discovery). Well, things start going wrong with the wiping process as Joel tries to hold onto his memories. The movie bounces back and forth between snippets of Joel's reality, memories, and eventually memories that he actively alters and if you don't pay attention, you could easily get lost. These memory scenes are especially well filmed using distinct changes in grain and lighting to give a distinct feeling of seeing different events at different times in his life. The story is rather convoluted as it unfolds, and is thoroughly enjoyable.


While this is supposedly a romantic comedy and there are some funny moments (especially in the memory sequences as), below the surface it's a film filled with loss and regret, which suited me just fine. While it might be nice to remove the painful memories of someone or something, I think giving up those that were good is too high of a price.


Anyways, enough of my ramblings, if you saw this, what did you think?

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LOVED this film. I have the same opinion, I am not a Carrey fan, and I felt he was perfect for this role. I forgot it was Jim Carrey after the first twenty minutes, and that was a good thing. I rate this up in the top two of Kaufman films with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind being tied. I did like Adaptation and Malkovich a lot too, but this was better! I highly recommend it...

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Fantastic, just fantastic. First movie that's gotten me out to theaters in months and it was well worth it. Nice to see something intelligent and layered for once. I was extremely impressed with the whole thing.


I DO like Jim Carrey, so no problems for me ;). But I think he was the best choice for the role, as some of the situations he encounters in his mind (those of you who've seen the movie can probably guess what I'm referring to) are not ones I could see any other mainstream actor handling as well.


The movie's great at exploring every nuance of the premise, from the ethics to the possible repercussions. Scads of good irony too. I see no point in spoiling the good bits ;).


I'm pretty sure this will grace my favorites list for 2004, heartily recommended.

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  • 6 months later...

Wow, just wow. That's about as eloquent as I can get about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Contrary to my post above I was not able to catch this in theaters so I had to be content in waiting for the DVD release.


I finally sat down to watch Eternal last night after having rented it two days ago. I attempted to watch the film at 3am the night before but I feel asleep rather quickly being pretty tired from work. What I caught of the movie was confusing to say the least, as I went from Clementine going to get her tooth brush to Joel breaking down in tears. Finally having taken in this wonderful film from start to finish, I can say I'm not the confused half-asleep dope I once was. (at least not as it pertains to the film itself. ;) )


This is possibly the sweetest, most romantic film I have seen in a very long time. Yet somehow it manages to be equally depressing, bleak and funny at the same time. I know that may sound a tad off considering the theme of the movie but if you are a person that has been in a relationship for an extended amount of time, this movie will speak to you (and it will speak volumes!). I won't bother going too much into the storyline as Travis has already done so admirably. I will say that I loved the concept of Eternal Sunshine right from the get-go. Erasing human memory is the equivalant of erasing who and what you are as a person and the movie does an extraordinary job of exploring that. It also succeeds in breaking down of the walls of what makes a relationship unique and how it is we come to terms with the flaws of those we love.


Kate Winslet was just phenominal. I have always enjoyed her work, especially in 2000's Quills (one of my favorite films that year). Her portrayal of Clementine ranged from purely frustrating to sweet as candy. She holds a singular beauty IMHO and I have always found her to be a very attractive person (unlike many that would consider her "chubby"). It's that uniqueness in appearance and the way she conveys Clementines' alsmost spasdic personality that will win you over. I especially fell in love with her as she tried to help Joel preserve his memories of thier time together. The scene where Joel reverts to childhood is especially humorous and innocent.


Jim Carrey continues to prove that he deserves some kind of recognition as an actor. I watch something like Ace Ventura (which is still funny as hell mind you!)today and I can't believe how far the man has come. Carrey plays shy and charming so well it's hard not to like him. The character of Joel is a fairly pathetic individual (to be truthful both him and Clementine are emotionally needy people.) but as the film progresses he kind of grows to understand what's missing in his life. I absolutely love the scene at the end where both characters have heard the terrible feelings they shared for one another and Joel simply says "Ok"and they both laughed and cried. It was touching, heartfelt and just almost put me to tears.


Eternal Sunshine makes you examine your own life and relationship. It makes you appreciate the person you are with even more. The desperation Joel feels in trying to keep hold of everthing he loved about Clementine will force you to put yourself in his place and thats just powerful stuff if you ask me. In case you hadn't noticed I liked it alot. :D In fact, I absolutely adored this movie and I recommend anyone even remotely contemplating renting or buying to do so immediately.

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Ah! Amazing Romier, I saw it last night too! I didn't remember this thread, so I was going to start one of my own about it, glad you posted first. ;)


It completely blew me away, it's just an incredible story and so creatively told. I rented it but I will buy it because it's very much worth more than one viewing.

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so I was going to start one of my own about it, glad you posted first.


I remembered Travis speaking very highly of the movie and my asking him to post his thoughts on it here (which he was gracious enough to do). At this years RSGH Brian (dogbert) also commented on how fantastic the movie was, which was another deciding factor in my finally get off my butt and renting this one. I hope the thead gets a bit more attention this time around as the movie has just completely shot up the list of my favorite films this year.


Another one I rented this past week was Man on Fire which I'll be starting a thread on soon. I'm a huge fan of Denzel Washington and having rented both Man on Fire and Eternal Sunshine at the same time was like a one-two punch of really damn good movie watching!

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