When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.
A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake. Written by
The original screenplay by Charlie Kaufman included a short conversation between Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) about the album "Rain Dogs" by Tom Waits during one of the opening scenes on the train. During this conversation Joel says he remembers buying the album and liking it, but he can't remember anything about it. While the dialogue was stripped from the film, during the fast shots of Stan (Mark Ruffalo) showing Joel the items he has brought in that remind him of Clementine a copy of the CD "Rain Dogs" can be seen for just a moment. Also the "blue ruin" reference comes from a lyric on the same album. See more »
After deleting a memory, the camera pans from Joel in an overhead shot, moving then to Stan and Patrick. A bundle of wires can be seen on the floor in between the bed and table, one of which is obviously not plugged into anything. Director Michel Gondry pointed out this error in the DVD commentary of the film. See more »
random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.
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The text in the opening credits appears quickly and then slowly withers away, like a memory. See more »
After a lukewarm reception in 2001 with "Human Nature", Charlie Kaufman has teamed up with director, Michel Gondry again for this romatic fantasy. With a name like Jim Carrey, this second collaboration couldn't go wrong in terms of box office success, and nor should it as this film is quite simply brilliant.
"Eternal Sunshine" centres around the life of Joel (Jim Carrey) a shy, mild mannered man who is heart broken after splitting from his feisty, impulsive girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet). A short while after their split, he meets her again while she is working at a library and he is stunned to discover that she doesn't recognise him. He later finds out that the reason for this is that Clementine has had her memory of Joel wiped out completely. Dr Howard Mierwick (Tom Wilkinson) has performed an operation on her brain after Clementine visited his clinic to forget Joel. Much to Joel's distress, he decides to do the same, but during his operation he revisits memories of Clementine that he struggles to let go of.
If anyone was in doubt as to whether Jim Carrey can act, this is the film that will put all doubt out of the way. He performs with sensitivity and warmth, never once verging on the manic rubber faced lunacy to which he is most well known for. Out of all the perfomances where he has stepped into the dramtic role (The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, The Majestic), this has got to be his best yet. Kate Winslet is also brilliant as his unpredictable, adventurous girlfriend.
Kaufman's story of a man going into a surreal dream world is not too dissimilar from his earlier work, "Being John Malkovich". You have off the wall images such as Carrey re-enacting his 4 year old self along his journey in his head. The eccentricity of the story, which is Kaufman's trademark, once again works excellently. When watching this you generally care for Carrey and Winslet, in much the same way as Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in "Lost In Translation". Gondry's diection gives a bittersweet flavour to the tale.
The sub plots involving the supporting characters who are operating are ingenius. Tom Wilkinson once again proves that he is one of the best British actors of his generation and he is backed up by great performnces from Kirsten Dunst and a post-LOTR Elijah Wood.
This is a lovely film and if you like originality with a sense of fantasy with a love story, then I suggest you see it. It's one of those films you'll want to see twice.
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