Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American science-fiction romantic comedy-drama film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. The film stars an ensemble cast including Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson, and follows an estranged couple who have erased each other from their memories.
After a painful breakup, Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergoes a procedure to erase memories of her former boyfriend Joel (Jim Carrey) from her mind. When Joel discovers that Clementine is going to extremes to forget their relationship, he undergoes the same procedure and slowly begins to forget the woman that he loved.
Why It Rocks
- Charlie Kaufman's award-winning screenplay is written in a way that no one can ever replicate as good as him. He plays with the themes of identity, time, memory, and attraction in a slightly off-kilter world that seems oddly home-like. Roger Ebert has even called Kaufman "the most gifted screenwriter of the 2000s" in his review of the film.
- Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet's performances are wonderful. The latter was even nominated for Best Actress.
- Jim Carrey doesn't just play himself, the funny man he is. He departs from his roles and does it right when he plays Joel.
- Both Joel and Clementine have great chemistry with each other.
- Although it has elements of Sci-Fi, its simply a love story, and it shouldn't be disqualified from the Sci-Fi genre.
- Joel's mind while his memories of Clementine are being erased manage to be freaky with its use of blank faces and destruction. It also gives many Being John Malkovich, another film written by Charlie Kaufman, vibes.
- The subplots involving the rest of the cast are well-plotted and manage to stay relevant to the story without being all over the place, such as with Mary Svavo and Dr. Howard Mierzwiak.
- The film shows you can erase someone from your memory but you can't erase them from your heart.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 93% "Certified Fresh" rating, based on 241 reviews, with an average rating of 8.47/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 89 out of 100, based on 41 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim."
- According to Mark Ruffalo, the scene where Stan (Mark Ruffalo) and Mary (Kirsten Dunst) dance in their underwear over an unconscious Joel (Jim Carrey) was improvised.