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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 science fiction romantic comedy drama film directed by Michel Gondry, written by Charlie Kaufman, produced by Anonymous Content and This Is That, and distributed by Focus Features. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. It was nominated for and won Best Original Screenplay, while just being nominated for Best Actress.
"Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders." - Mary Svevo
After a gut-wrenching breakup, Clementine Kruczynski erases her ex-boyfriend, Joel Barish, from her mind. A devastated Joel decides to do the same to Clementine, but as the procedure occurs, Joel realizes that maybe he doesn't want to forget her.
My Favorite Thing About Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This is one of the most unique movies I've ever seen, and I think my two favorite things were easily the direction and screenplay. Charlie Kaufman crafts a wonderfully weird story that has incredible themes, intelligent storytelling, and a very compelling emotional relationship at the core. He is able to give these characters all of these wonky quirks that make them weird but also make them very likable. His screenplay is complemented by Michel Gondry's masterful direction. It's a crime that he was not nominated for an Oscar. He deftly combines psychological drama with elements of romantic comedies and sci-fi movies. It's one of, if not the best example of genre blending I've ever seen.
My Least Favorite Thing About Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I think that the subplot involving the doctors that are running the procedure is a little bit underdeveloped. It's nowhere near as compelling and emotional as Joel and Clem's journey. There's a few twists and turns involving Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, and Tom Wilkinson's characters that just don't really resonate with me emotionally because I care so much more about Joel and Clementine. Also, Elijah Wood's character was a completely forced antagonist. I just think the side characters were in the film to give you a break from the craziness of Joel's mind, but they felt underdeveloped and forced.
Why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Is a Great Movie
This film is just one of the best crafted movies I've ever seen. The story is unpredictable and heart-warming, the directing and editing are top-notch and complement the other elements well, and the acting is phenomenal. If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend. It's an extremely weird movie that takes some adjustment, but once that adjustment is made, you will be on board with this compelling and interesting romantic drama.
Final Thoughts and Score
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a film that setup a bunch of great ideas and just executed them to the best of their ability. It's an incredible movie, and I really think you should watch it if you haven't seen it.
I will go Sweet. Age range is 11+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
Fun Factor: 8/10 Acting: 9.5/10
Directed by Michel Gondry
Rated R for language, sexual content, thematic elements
Released on March 19, 2004
1 hour and 48 minutes
Jim Carrey as Joel Barish
Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski
Kirsten Dunst as Mary Svevo
Mark Ruffalo as Stan Fink
Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Howard Mierzwiak
Elijah Wood as Patrick Wertz
Jane Adams as Carrie Eakin
David Cross as Rob Eakin