Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I finally watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again tonight and really enjoyed it. It is a well made and, I think, original look at relationships, bad relationships specifically. Everyone has had them, everyone wants to forget them sometimes. The beauty of this film is that it doesn’t try to ignore that or cover it up, but deals with it in a very interesting way. Most movies seem to glorify relationships: either everything is (nearly) perfect or if not, you simply end the relationship. That is not reality, in reality, relationships are difficult (and this doesn’t necessarily only pertain to romantic relationships) and we have to work through those difficulties. While both Jim Carrey’s and Kate Winslet’s characters choose (somewhat impulsively) to have the memories of each other and their relationship erased, Carrey realizes that he doesn’t want to lose those memories, even if they are painful. At one point, when he start to realize what is happening Carrey says:

Please let me keep this memory, just this one.

That moment is one of my favorites. It is the realization that while relationships can suck, they are worth holding onto. That doesn’t mean the hurt isn’t there and that there aren’t going to be relationships that need to be ended, but it means that all relationships are worth remembering and learning from.

My belief is that relationships and love were not meant to be terminated. The Fall has brought in brokenness to relationship and hurt follows. We have to keep going though. And it is worth it. One of the final scenes ends with this exchange:

Clementine: I’m not perfect.

Joel: I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you…

C: But you will…

J: Right now I can’t…

C: You will think of things and I will get bored with you and feel trapped cause that’s what happens with me.

J: [pause] …Okay

C: [pause] Okay

Good moment. Relationships are worth it, don’t forget that!

I will leave you with a portion of Alexander Pope’s Eloisa to Abelard

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
“Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;”
Desires compos’d, affections ever ev’n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav’n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp’ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th’ unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes,
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring,
For her white virgins hymeneals sing,
To sounds of heav’nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.

God Bless
-Matt Jones

Categories: Movies, Social Commentary
  1. January 28th, 2006 at 20:10 | #1

    That sounds interesting. I may have to watch it - I’ve never saw that flix before.

  2. January 29th, 2006 at 07:07 | #2

    Yeah, definitely check it out!! I hope I didn’t give too much away. It is well worth seeing, I was somewhat surprised to see that performance from Carrey, he was really good!

  3. January 29th, 2006 at 08:50 | #3

    I really enjoyed the movie, too. Watched it about a year ago I guess. My wife fell asleep :) . But, it really made me think.

  4. January 29th, 2006 at 18:32 | #4

    Haha, I can definitely see that it isn’t a movie for everyone, but I thought it was really interesting and clever.

  5. January 29th, 2006 at 20:37 | #5

    i love that movie. i give jim carrey mad props for pulling off that movie the way that he did.

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