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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

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.

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Top Rated Movies #88 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 70 wins & 109 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Train Conductor
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Rob
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Ryan Whitney ...
Young Joel
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Joel's Mother
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Young Bully
Brian Price ...
Young Bully
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Young Bully (as Paul Litowski)
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Storyline

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 anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Our memories makes us who we are. You can't change the past. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eterno resplandor de una mente sin recuerdos  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,175,198, 21 March 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$34,400,301

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,169,222
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(as dts)| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Stan (Mark Ruffalo) scares Mary (Kirsten Dunst), Michel Gondry asked Ruffalo to hide at a different spot each take, to actually scare her. See more »

Goofs

Long Island Railroad trains are shown with a red stripe on the cars. This is the livery color for trains on Metro-North Railroad's New Haven line. LIRR trains are blue. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joel: [voice over] random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits don't begin until about twenty minutes into the film and after much action and plot. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bones: The Past in the Present (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep On Looking
Written by Richie James Eaton
Performed by The Willowz
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
How happy IS the blameless vestal's lot?
12 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned." - Alexander Pope Is ignorance truly bliss? And if you could erase a person, what would the consequences be? "Eternal Sunshine" answers these questions, in a way that most Hollywood movies could not. Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman have created one of the most original, touching, funny, and unique films of recent years. It explores the mind and the heart, deeper than other movies have dared to do.

Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is on the shy side. He's rather quiet and ordinary. Joel is stuck in life; he has no real relationships, a job he hates, and doesn't know where he's going or what he wants, but is too nervous to break out of his niche. Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) seems like his complete opposite. She's spontaneous, wild, and eccentric. Her hair changes from red to blue to orange to green, depending on her mood. Clementine doesn't care what people think, and is free and impulsive, doing and saying what she wants.

Clementine and Joel have a wonderful relationship, then break up because of petty arguments and irritations about each other's personalities. Joel tries to talk to her, then discovers she has had her memories of him wiped, by a company named Lacuna, that specializes in removing unwanted memories. Angry and hurt, he decides to undergo the procedure himself, confident he'll never miss Clementine. As the various memories are erased, Joel sees their best and their worst moments together. They argued and fought, but they were also happy, and for a time, they really loved each other. He realizes he'd rather have the pain of their relationship than have no memory of her at all. He begins to regret his decision, and desperately tries to stop the procedure. The film focuses on Joel's attempts to hide Clementine in his mind, and his struggle to fight the process.

Jim Carrey's performance is wonderful, a complete change from his usual antics. He is sympathetic and believable; the rubber face that is usually contorted in a silly grin is subtly controlled, every line and expression honest and real. He is becoming a gifted actor and hopefully the public will forget the Ace Ventura side of him. Kate Winslet, who is one of our greatest actresses, gives one of her best performances. She gives a complexity to her role, which could have easily been clichéd and simple. She shows Clementine's want for attention, but also her incredible loneliness. Both of these characters aren't perfect; there are times when you understand why they dumped each other, and fought. But you also see why one loved the other. The supporting cast of Wilkinson, Wood, Dunst, and Ruffalo hold their own, as the eccentric team who run Lacuna, and have their own opinions about the process.

People have called this an "anti-romance" movie, but I don't feel that. I think it is the ultimate romance movie, for it shows the complexity and pain of love. How much it hurts when it's gone, and how wonderful it feels while it's happening. "Eternal Sunshine" explores the mind with an intensity that is both painful and eloquent at the same time, like love itself.

This film will make you reconsider your opinions about many things: life, love and memories. Gondry has brilliantly made it confusing and fast, yet clear and profound at the same time. The film is delicate and soft, but it hits you right in your heart. This is definitely a movie everyone should see. Because if they did, love would never be the same again.


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