Top Twenty of the Decade #13

Howard: Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage.

13. Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004) – Dir. Michel Gondry

It seems pretty obvious, to me anyways, that our lives are shaped by our past experiences. Everything that makes us who we are comes from what we’ve done.

Maybe you know a lot about movies because you spent a lot of time trying to escape the real world, or maybe you are a great cook because grandma handed down all her best recipes, or maybe you’ve sworn off men for the last time because your heart has been broke and broke and broke again.

Obvious, right? Well movie #13, and the second from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman on my list, understands this fact and presents it in a fresh and unique way. We are our memories, so what happens when we erase (literally) those things that make us…us?

Do you really want to get rid of all that pain and all that hurt if it means getting rid of all that happiness that made the pain hurt so much? I say no. It’s why we dive into relationships even though we are well aware that they will almost certainly end, and possibly in disaster.

This movie is full of this type of debate, but told in a fantastical, funny, tricky way. Oh, also non-linear, so it isn’t quite so clear exactly what is going on until the end, but that’s how it should be. Films shouldn’t be so predictable. Love stories shouldn’t be so predictable, and this one certainly isn’t.

The film beautifully bounces around Jim Carrey’s inner workings, retelling his somber love affair with snippets of his own personal history until you completely understand everything, without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Carrey and Kate Winslet are great. Everyone else is great. It’s just so hard to find a film filled with great ideas but told with so much entertaining flare, and for that I will never forget watching this movie.

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4 responses to “Top Twenty of the Decade #13

  1. Thanks for the review. I’ll check out the movie.

  2. Pingback: Top Twenty Films of the Decade – Recap | Shooting the Script

  3. Pingback: My Favorite Films of the Last Decade #2 | Shooting the Script

  4. Pingback: Artful Dodger – “Trance” Review | Shooting the Script

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