February 14th. I think almost every year, on this day, or the night before, I end up rewatching bits of this movie – if not the whole movie.
It was completely by coincidence that the first time I ever watched this movie about 9 years ago – it was the night before Valentine’s day. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind begins with Valentines day in its plot. It gave me such a jolt when I found myself sinking into a movie whose time of the year was – pretty much in line with my calendar as the audience outside of this film.
It’s such a wonderful movie. The first quirky film I ever came to like. It’s about a protagonist who discovers, after a big fight, that his girlfriend has gone through an operation to remove him from her memory. In pain and in retaliation, he too decides to undergo the same procedure. In the midst of the operation, though, he decides – no – I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to forget. But he’s mid-surgery and he can’t stop it. So for the rest of the film, you watch with him as all his memories fade away.
I was quite emotional after this movie. Just even the idea of such a possibility. What does it mean to consciously decide to remove such a huge event and person from your life? Who are we when we do this, what’s left of us, and is it truly worth removing such a big part of your history and growth – no matter how painful?
This is one of my favorite scenes. They meet each other here. It’s so incredibly awkward. The dialogue. The conversation. The music (which fits perfectly for this moment). The whole interaction. Right down to that ghastly sketch.
It’s awkwardness is so endearingly realistic.
Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet are marvelous actors.