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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A comedic romance film written by Charlie Kaufman, directed by Michel Gonfry, and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.

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He Almost Made Me Forget ...

  • Jun 27, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
.... Jim Carrey, I mean. He almost made me forget that he is eternally, recurrently, ineluctably "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective"! Almost, I say. He is a masterful actor, and he plays the sad sack Joel as plausibly as anyone could. But whatever slouch he adopts, whatever stubble covers his chin, he's still The Grinch, Loki, Truman, and above all Ace! Ventura! At some fundamental level of thespian craft, he fails. He needs the help of Dr. Mierzwiak to erase MY memories of his previous roles.

Kate Winslet has no such handicap. It never occurred to me to remember her in any other role. In this film, in the role of the 'impetuous' Clementine, she's every man's worst memory. If I'd survived hooking up with Clementine in my flaming youth, I'd pay to have the memory erased also. But this is a film about Recurrence - endless cycles of predestined Recurrence! - a Kosmic Kharma Komedy. "In this whole world / you can love but one girl / let me be that one girl / I'll be true to you", as the Shirelles sang when I was a teenager, with the implication that 'not only will you never be able to forget me after I dump you but you'll always always find another me.' In other words, this film is more a tragedy than a comedy, a coy examination of how vulnerable we humans are to our own psyches. No, amigos, that is NOT a happy ending.

But there's also a meta-message in the film: we are what we remember. Tampering with the brain, with memory, is risky business, a Dr Frankenstein trick. "Eternal Sunshine" is a sort of science fiction film. Plausibility isn't relevant. We the audience are supposed to think deeply about its implications. That might be where the film falls short; it's too zany for its concept to be taken seriously. All the flashbooks to memories being expunged, while Joel is unconscious, clash too bizarrely to stimulate much empathy. Joel at half size, hiding under his Mommy's kitchen table, is .... wait! He's ... Ace Ventura Pet Detective!

I skipped this film when it was first run. Who remembers why? But I had to see it now, after watching the film "Synecdoche New York" by the same screen-writer Charlie Kaufman. Frankly, "Eternal Sunshine" seems like a practice piece, a warm-up for the powerful expressiveness of "Synecdoche".

My wife watched "Eternal Sunshine" with me. She insisted that I include, in any review of it, her protest against the demeaning (she said) portrayal of the three women characters. But she also gave me permission to declare that the film was "entertaining."

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More Eternal Sunshine of the Spotle... reviews
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     We remember a lot of good things in life; that, as I believe, is given. We remember because we want to, and because these are the moments that ultimately save us in times of doubt or depression. I have embraced the times; no matter how hard they may be. I've enjoyed myself plenty and am content, but those not-so-good memories will linger forevermore. They cannot be avoided; they can be forgotten, easily through healing and otherwise with at least a little …
Quick Tip by . January 13, 2011
Caption
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Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dispite the craze of hipster kids who love this movie. It is still one of the greatest written films ever. Jim Carrey is amazing.
review by . May 13, 2008
Movie Poster
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind explores the impact on life and love if we could decide to erase our physically and emotionally traumautic memories.  Specifically, the movie follows the relationship of Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) in the context of the availability and use of this memory erasing technology.    I don't want to spoil this brilliant movie, so I'm intentionally trying to stay light on the details.   I always use this movie …
review by . December 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
DVD cover (front)
From the brilliantly eccentric minds of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation) and visionary director Michel Gondry comes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a romantic comedy that's unlike any other. The film's screenplay, which deals with familiar themes of reconciliation and redemption, is constantly surprising in the direction that it chooses to go. Kaufman and Gondry, who are themselves rather unconventional, avoid the clichés of both the comedy and romance genres.  The film's …
review by . September 25, 2007
When I first heard of this film it didn't interest me that much but after a number of recommendations I dove into it. Thankfully enough I found "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" an excellent romantic and intriguing comedy-drama about two people who don't truly realize they are in love until one loses the other. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is a lonely yet sweet man who is looking for true love and the ideal woman. His search ends when he meets Clementine Krucynksi (Kate Winslet), an energetic …
review by . October 18, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
The title of this film is taken from a poem written by Alexander Pope entitled "Eloisa to Abelard". Pope based his poem upon the lives of two real people who were involved in an illicit affair. The poem is written from Eloisa's point of view and illustrates the conflict the woman has between her deep love for Abelard and her devotion to God. The movie takes it's name from the lines, "How happy is the blameless Vestal's lot!/The world forgetting, by the world forgot./ Eternal sunshine of the spotless …
review by . May 10, 2005
It is, despite the Truman Show, still a bold move to cast Jim Carrey in any movie that doesn't require outrageous slapstick. Here, Carrey is not just required not to gurn, but to play the most anally retentive character in the film. As a concept, you would think, that would be madness. But, and with a surprising amount of ease, it works. Carrey is credible and likeable as the everyman Joel Barish. Just as Joel is believably uptight (bearish, even?), Kate Winslet's Clementine is believably flaky, …
review by . January 09, 2005
After eighty years of cinema, the film industry is running out of original ideas. There seem to be more and more remakes of old films, or recycled ideas, everyday. I find this loss of originality to be quite depressing. That's why I'm overjoyed to find that there is still some creativity in Hollywood today. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" is a perfect example.    Jim Carrey stars as Joel, a man who one day discovers that his lover, Clementine (Kate Winslet), has had him …
review by . July 03, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Eternal sunshine is a clever movie that explores the concept of memory being erased to remove unpleasant memories. The setting is a dreary, blighted area of Long Island NY and the beaches of Montauk, where the disrupted romance of the Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet characters begins. The story shifts back and forth in time as well as in and out of the mind of the Carrey character. The supporting cast includes Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst, with each supporting character playing an important role in the …
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Wiki

The title is taken from the poem “Eloisa to Abelard” by Alexander Pope.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Theatrical release poster Directed by Michel Gondry Produced by Anthony Bregman
Steve Golin Written by Screenplay:
Charlie Kaufman
Story:
Michel Gondry
Pierre Bismuth
Charlie Kaufman Starring Jim Carrey
Kate Winslet
Kirsten Dunst
Mark Ruffalo
Elijah Wood
Tom Wilkinson
Jane Adams
David Cross
Thomas Jay Ryan Music by Jon Brion Cinematography Ellen Kuras Editing by Valdís Óskarsdóttir Distributed by Focus Features Release date(s) March 19, 2004 Running time 108 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $20 million Gross revenue $72.2 million

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American psychological-drama film by director Michel Gondry. The film uses elements of science fiction, nonlinear narration and neosurrealism to explore the nature of memory and romantic love.[1] It opened in North America on March 19, 2004 and grossed over US$70 million worldwide.[2]

Gondry worked on the story with writer/director Charlie Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth, a French performance artist. Together, they won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2005, alongside a nomination for Kate Winslet for Best Actress that year. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and features Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Jane Adams, and David Cross.

The title is taken from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by ...

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Details

Director: Michel Gondry
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: March 19, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Runtime: 1hr 48min
Studio: Universal Studios, Focus Features
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