Having never been a fan of romantic movies – just not wired up that way – I approached this film with caution and a completely open mind. Seeing Jim Carrey playing the lead I was the back foot so I wiped my mind of all things Ace Ventura or Mask Related. I hadn’t read the blurb or previously shown any interest in the movie due to my massive prejudice of the genre so I just dived in and watched with as few preconceptions as possible. Somebody stop me! Sorry.
As soon as the movie starts and we wake up with the main character Joel (Jim Carrey) we feel a kind of empathy with his sucky rat-race life, as he heads off to work. Just another boring da… wait, this is romance, obviously something extraordinary will happen. Predictably, something does happen at this point and the romantic journey begins with a rare act of impulse.
As you would expect, he meets a girl. That girl is a neurotic, impulsive and somewhat superficial character called Clementine, played by Kate Winslet. Their meeting has a kind of awkward cuteness and an air of something not quite being right. Trust me, when it clicks as to why, it clicks hard.
Enter the conflict. Not surprisingly, the character traits you pick up on from both characters cause them to drive each other apart. At this stage of the movie, I’m thinking it’s all a bit standard, save for some nice Michael Chapman style photography in the opening titles which seem to come in quite late in the game.
It all starts to get a bit strange when a memory wiping procedure enters into the plot. When I say strange, I’m talking David Lynch strange. Initially I thought the movie might be a mobius strip like Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. Some of the visual effetcs and concepts that are introduced frome hereon in are more in-line with sci-fi than romance. It’s at this point that you have to pay attention because conflict gets added to conflict and a whole new romantic sub-plot (or maybe more) gets introduced. Did you wonder why someone as high profile as Kirsten Dunst was playing a mere secretary? It turns out that she’s more important to the plot than you might at first think.
What you’re wondering now is whether there’s a happy ending or not. It’s a romance so there must be a happy ending, right?
I’m not going to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet because I strongly recommend that you do. It gets a 4/5 rating from me. Surprisingly enjoyable, not too mushy and slightly warped in places. Great stuff, however you’re wired up.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on IMDB
Director: Michel Gondry
Writers: Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth
My Rating: 4/5
Why am I doing movie reviews?