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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Review

Posted by Auz - September 30th, 2009

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Info about the movie
Title: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Year: 2004
Genre: Drama, Romance
Duration: 108 minutes

Won an Oscar for Best Script


When I first heard about this movie I did not expect much from it. I could hardly imagine a romantic movie with Jim Carrey was any good. I´m not such a big fan of Jim Carrey movies in general and I simply hate the romantic comedy genre. But some friends of mine told me that this movie was really good and that my expectations were far from the truth. It turns out that they indeed were.

Plot summary
In this movie, a doctor Howard (Tom Wilkinson) invented a certain machine/therapy with which he can erase parts of peoples memories. After breaking up with his girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet), Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) finds out that she underwent such a therapy. Not being able to deal, emotionally, with the idea that his girlfriend does not know or recognize him anymore, he decides to erase her from his own memory. However, during the therapy he finds out that he still likes her a lot and he does whatever he can to resist his memories from being erased.

There is also a sideplot involving doctor Howard, Stan (Mark Ruffalo), Mary (Kirsten Dunst) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) playing mostly in Joel's house where Joel's memories are being erased. You could say this sideplot mostly focuses on the bad ethical side effects of erasing people's memories.


The erasing of his memory is filmed in an interesting way in my opinion. You basically see Joel walking around in his own memories, going back and forth all kinds of important events in his life. Mostly his moments with his girlfriend. Often he 'replaces' himself in the memory and tries to figure out a way to stop the deletion of that particular memory. It is all done quite well.

As for the technical aspects, the acting was pretty good in this movie. Everything came over very natural and I was honestly a bit surprised to see Jim Carrey not playing a lunatic for once. Kate Winslet was also very convincing as an ... impulsive, alto-girl. The soundtrack in this movie was NOT very memorable. I didn't recognize or remember a single song, but I believe there was not much music in it anyway. One big plus of this movie, in my opinion, is the length. It is only about 100 minutes long which is quite short for movies these days. Most movies I see/have are at least 2 hours long, which often makes me lose my interest in watching that movie. Unless I really have nothing to do and still have a whole evening ahead of me.

Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable movie. If you're looking for a lot of action/scares/thrills etc., this is not the movie for you. But if you're also a fan of cleverly made movies which require some thinking to fully understand the plot, then I think you're gonna love this one as well.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Review