“Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” is one of those movies that you see and you’re like “what the hell/was that awesome!” It’s just so original, fun to watch and uses actors unlike you ever thought they could be used.
Legend has it they had initially cast Mark Ruffalo as the lead and Jim Carrey as the co-star scientist dude. Somewhere in the mix they realized it would work better if they swapped roles and casting brilliance was unleashed.
Admittedly I have always been a huge Jim Carrey fan. I loved him on “In Living Color”, in “Ace Ventura”, “The Mask”, “Liar Liar”, and anything else that, at twelve, was immediately my favorite movie.
But this movie was different. Sure we’d seen a slight dramatic turn from Jim Carrey in “The Truman Show” but this was him brooding, suffering, and dying inside. Something we’d never seen nor thought he could play or even feel. The casting of Jim Carrey as an emotionally sensitive, slightly awkward character was perfect. So perfect in fact it made you think that maybe that’s who he really was. That the larger than life comic exterior was simply a facade this whole time. His performance just felt real. And I don’t think he’s done anything better since.
Then the always incredible Kate Winslet playing a deeply insecure and manic young woman who changes her brightly colored hair color just so she doesn’t feel normal or boring. You can understand their attraction.
When they meet for the “first” time you can tell something is off. They are both in this strange place and standing around like they were supposed to be there.
It devolves from there going through every awful fight and shitty experience they had together until in spite of all the evidence to the contrary he realizes how much he loves her. Then it’s off to the races to save what little memory he has of her so they can rekindle and continue their love.
What an absolutely brilliant premise! Makes you wonder if that would even work. Could you erase any memory of another person from your brain? I don’t think you could but if you did you’d wake up with this incredible emptiness inside and not know why. So not sure that would even help.
I remember when I broke up with my girlfriend my senior year of college. At first I was fine and actually excited to be able to date other women. Then something just snapped inside me and I felt unbelievably sad and lost without her. I’d never felt anything like that in my life. And it didn’t stop. It just kept hurting and hurting and hurting. I eventually went to see her to find out if there was any chance of getting back together.
She was furious and I believe in as much pain as I was so she refused to take me back and said she didn’t want to see me for several months.
I being the proud idiot I am raised her even more months and vowed to not shed a single additional tear for this heartless wench. I then proceeded to get blackout drunk nearly every night for the next few months. More nights than naught failing to bring home anyone with which to numb the pain.
I think in a way I was trying to destroy my memories of her through destroying my feelings and brain with alcohol. And just like in the movie it didn’t work. I still felt every feeling and suffered every pain only it was compounded with a severe hangover and the morning clean up of whatever physical, mental and/or emotional mess I’d made the night before.
But what’s funny is in spite of the deep deep pain (pain I would have literally exchanged any amount of physical pain for) I look back on it with fondness. The fact that I could feel something so deeply is quite beautiful. I miss it in a way. Just feeling young and lost and so sad I could burst into tears or put my fist through a wall at a moments notice. Something so integral in there to becoming a full and well rounded person. You’re not complete as a person until you’ve had your heart ripped from you chest and stomped on repeatedly while you watch in horror. And everything you do seems to only add gasoline to the fire of your once sweet feeling of love.
But I digress, I love this movie. It’s super well done, the soundtrack is classic. I can’t help but melancholy tear up when I hear Beck’s “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime”. I still feel like Jim Carrey has more roles of this caliber inside of him. I hope he finds a way to share them.
And if you wanna share some passion come to the my live screenplay reading at The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. Promise it will be way better than that time your heart got broken into a billion pieces. #ChrisTop30Films