‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004)



Dave’s 3-Word Review
Beautiful, Powerful, Captivating

For a long time now, I have been in battle with myself over which Jim Carrey movie is better…”The Truman Show” or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind“, as they are both incredibly powerful and original films, but at the same time they are so very different.  From my actual rating, I have it as one point over “The Truman Show“, but there may be more to it than that.

When Joel (Jim Carrey) meets a very colorful girl…literally…named Clementine (Kate Winslet), he immediately recognizes an attraction. Low and behold, the attraction is mutual. His calm and nice demeanor excited her while her strange and playful nature intrigued him, so they got into a relationship. Fast forward to the future, where something has happened in their relationship that caused it to fall apart, but we don’t know what. We then begin to watch backwards in time, memory for memory about what happened.  It was going backwards in time because at this point, Joel was erasing Clementine from his mind, one memory at a time.

Something goes screwy during the operation which separates Joel from his memories, and making him self-conscious of what’s happening, much like a lucid dream. Clearly, once he was self-aware, he began exploring good memories, making him want the procedure to be called off, but the problem was he was asleep…he couldn’t stop it. It was mostly about living in the moment, and trying your hardest to focus on the great things in life, and that no matter what happens, we just don’t have the ability to change who a person is inside, and any attempt to change that will fail.

We have seen some movies that had to deal with a backwards set of events, “Momento” did the same type of thing, but it was a little harder to understand than “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind“. What really made this film what it was, was how Jim Carrey’s character became self-aware, and tried to control his memories. That created an incredible spectacle of beautiful visuals and a tone so intense that it is almost impossible to press the pause button.

This is one of the, if not best, performances Jim Carrey has ever done. He played depressed, happy, and of course there were some classic Carrey-isms thrown in. It was truly a perfect role for Jim. Kate Winslet also did a fantastic job. I felt that the chemistry was very present, and the their conflicting personalities portrayed the common statement of “opposites attract” rather well.

The plot…oh my gosh the plot, you guys. This was so incredibly powerful that even though Jim Carrey played the main role, people thought that the brain-washing company was real. People everywhere began to look up and call businesses around the country with the same name looking for a mind-erasing company. That is incredible. Those people aren’t stupid, but it does show the desperation. So many people would give anything to erase someone or something from their memories, but this movie explores why that would be a bad idea, even if it was true.

I don’t know anyone out there who is a fan of movies, and says this movie wasn’t smart, because it was very smart. I have yet to see anything like it. It’s originality is staggering. It also portrays a dream state rather well, I wouldn’t say as well as “Inception“, but it does very well.

So is it better than “The Truman Show“, I think production-wise, absolutely, there’s no question about it. I think entertainment-wise they are pretty much on par, but in the end, I think I am more likely to watch “The Truman Show” on a more frequent level. So both have their positives and negatives, but in the end, I like them just about equal. If you have yet to watch the film, I would very highly recommend you watching it as soon as possible, it is definitely not a film to miss.

10 thoughts on “‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (2004)

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