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Spoiler Free Review for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Title: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Date: 2004

MPAA: Rated R for language, some drug and sexual content

Director: Michel Gondry

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is currently on Netflix!! This is not only one of my all time favorite movies, but my favorite romantic comedy ever. But is this a romantic comedy? Maybe it’s a science fiction film, or even a drama. That’s the fascinating thing about this film. It has so many genres, dynamics, and layers. This is truly a unique film unlike any other and that is why I respect it so much.

This film is very well made. It is directed by Michel Gondry who is at the top of his game. I’ve always wondered what happened to this guy, because he really hasn’t made a great film since Eternal Sunshine with notable films like Be Kind Rewind and The Green Hornet being made after this film. This film is expertly written by the great Charlie Kauffman who won an Oscar for his screenplay. This is one of my all time favorite screenplays, and is very complex, but so unique. Kauffman wrote characters that are relatable, and a relationship that is just as relatable in a theoretical world that gives people the ability to erase previous memories of their past. This is a very interesting concept, and ensues a plot that is unpredictable and makes you wonder about your current or previous relationships. The audience can learn a lot about relationships from watching this film which is a very important key on why this film is so great. Most romantic films have the same basic idea and follow the same clichés and you never really learn anything from watching them. However, with Eternal Sunshine, the viewers are witnessing everything (the ups and downs) of this relationship, uncensored, that doesn’t shy away from the realities and brutality that can go on in a long term relationship.

Eternal Sunshine is told in a lon-linear style format, that is similar to another great romance film 500 Days of Summer. The two lead characters in this film are Joel and Clementine, played wonderfully by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. They are complete opposites, but somehow their relationship seems to work and seems real. I will probably be in the minority when I say this, but I believe this is Jim Carrey’s best performance. Yes, he is a fantastic comedic actor, but I think this is his most natural performance, and he really shows off his dramatic acting chops in this film. He is also very funny at times, so his performance never comes off as too serious. Carrey acts like a normal person in this film which is why I love his performance. Kate Winslet, on the other hand, has had so many other great performances in her career, but I can make a case that this is her best performance as well. I think she steals the entire movie, and this is because she plays a character that is so unique (I know I’m using that word a lot, but it’s true) but at the same time very down to earth and intimate, that this feels like a real person. This film also has some great supporting performances from Tom Wilkinson and Kirsten Dunst.

Watching this film for the first time might be a very confusing performance, and it is strange at times. But this film will stick in your mind soon after you finish watching it. It begs for repeat viewings, and when you watch it over and over, I promise you’ll like it more and more. I know I have, and I can be honest by saying I did not like it the first time I saw it. However, after watching it two more times, I can say it is one of my favorite films EVER.

Overall, Eternal Sunshine is a fantastic film that offers a unique (there’s that word again), but realistic view on modern relationships. Upon watching this film, viewers will ponder about their previous or current experiences and maybe even learn a thing or two about the subject. This film is very well made and extremely well written, that offers some career-best performances from the actors. This is one of the greatest romantic films of all time, and I beg you to watch this if you have not yet.  My grade for this film is:

5/5

 

2 Comments

  1. Liam

    This film is a masterpiece. One of my all time favourites. I have seen it several times now and still love it! Carrey gives the performance of his career, and Winslet is brilliant too. I think this film has been taken off the UK Netflix now, which means I’ll have to buy it on dvd!

    Reply
    1. Brendan Bellavia (Post author)

      Yes, completely agree! It gets better every time I watch it. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply

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