VIDEO: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

The Blockbuster Chick looks at a film that really makes her want to erase the memory of her watching it! So sit back, relax, and enjoy her take on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind… and what’s up with that teddy bear U.N. Owen sent her? It keeps making a strange noise…

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  • Muthsarah

    While I don’t share the quantity of your bile towards this production, I do understand not thinking as highly of it as its reputation led me to expect. It’s OK. Interesting, but cold, exhausting, and nowhere near as thought-provoking as it seems to think it is. Which…I guess would make it pretentious. What’s the lesson? Even the bad memories are worth keeping? You can’t change or deny your past, so you’re better off moving on? Or just that you can’t fight destiny? I don’t know, really.

    Like you, I simply could not connect with any character, even though I really, really love the cast. Yes, all of them. It was a dream cast for me, and I even knew who everyone was ahead of time and had multiple reasons for liking all of them, and I was giddy about another Charlie Kaufmann script (Being John Malkovich is a great, great movie IMHO), and I think Michel Gondry is a really interesting visual director. And, of course, there’s never enough good sci-fi out there. So imagine my surprise when I just felt…meh towards this. Movies that take place within people’s minds or in alternate realities where you can’t tell what’s real or what’s not are magnets for the kinds of pretentious ideas that usually are supposed to tell us all about what’s really, really, real about life, if only we could understand it…but usually end up being depicted in films by people running around while the sets behind them vanish. Bad Trek burned me out of that. Metaphysics are fine…if you can explain them. But this movie felt too hand-wavey in that “it’s just too deep to understand, so just accept it” way that just never leaves me far more irritated than satisfied.

    That said, I still like the cast, and the visuals, so I think the film gets the more fundamental things right. It’s really the plot and the way it relies so heavily on its visuals that keep it from developing into anything genuinely interesting. There was plenty to look at, but very little to think about. It didn’t even improve upon re-watching, as so many twisty, complicated movies often do. There just wasn’t any real substance to it.

    It’s a disappointment, but not a disaster. If anyone’s moderately curious, it’s worth a look. Just don’t go in with any expectations. And see Being John Malkovich first.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Or not, since Being John Malkovich is the Chinese Water Torture of filmdom…

  • $36060516

    I can watch a review I disagree with but had to stop watching this one during your segment on the two leads meeting on the train. You were venting so much anger (in tone of voice and facial expressions) at a quiet yet charming scene for no reason I could identify, it was like watching a parent yelling at a child that’s doing nothing wrong.

    • The Blockbuster Chick

      I can appreciate you thinking that I was venting for no reason other than to vent, but personally for me I was getting fed up of that scene going on as long as it did, and it just felt to me that there wasn’t anything going on, there wasn’t any chemistry and I didn’t take any enjoyment out of the scene (or the movie either lol). I’m sorry if you felt uncomfortable at all, that certainly wasn’t my intention. You have to understand that like a lot of other reviewers, sometimes with a character we create for these shows, we embellish our reactions to certain points of movies a little. What you are seeing is an embellished reaction to how I saw the scene. I hope this helps to explain it, and please understand that I was simply acting as well. I play a character in these reviews, I’m not being Suzie, I’m being The Blockbuster Chick.

      • $36060516

        That’s cool, Susie. Thanks for the thoughtful response. I connected with the movie but can definitely understand you not liking it and playing a character who is a lot more upset than you actually are. And I hope this doesn’t sound condescending but you looked sweet asleep at the beginning of the review!

        • The Blockbuster Chick

          Oh not at all, thats not condescending. I’m not sure how many people caught that I was making a reference to my favourite movie The Truman Show, as that was parodying the scene in that movie where Truman is asleep on the camera with that music playing in the background…kind of my subtle humour lol. Also, the movie actually made me fall asleep as few times! lol So I used that as part of the review to help justify my thoughts on it….and apparently it worked! lol. Thanks again for your comment :)

  • maarvarq

    Certainly, if there was a prize for Most Depressing Purported Feel-Good Movie, this one would win it hands-down.

    Incidentally, if you again want to experience the end credits of a movie as a vast relief, try Buffalo ’66 … or rather, don’t. That is another supposedly arty romantic comedy which fails dismally at being entertaining in any way, let alone romantic or funny.

  • Lol, it’s ironic how I reviewed a film this week that I find overrated and you review the film you feel is overrated… which is a movie I love! Funny how that works :)

    Otherwise, I had fun watching this film and the interactions/relationships between Joel and Clementine… especially since most of it’s Joel reflection of Clementine in his memories. The doctor and Mary’s are the heart of the film and I ended up sympathizing with her the most. Ironically, the original ending has both Joel and Clementine constantly failing at their relationship and constantly erasing their memories as they get older implying that they were never meant for each other (Charlie Kaufman has a tendency for downer endings). For some weird reason, I really dug how Michel Gondry directed this film. He has an animator/cartoonist sensability and the way Joel “runs” away from the memories he’s having erased (especially since memories are constructive and not chronological). By starting backwards and going back to when they first met gives us a chance to see how they started…IDK it worked for me :P. Basically this film couldn’t have worked as well as if did with him directing it.

  • msgundam2

    @26:35 Hey you make fun of a person that was raped. If they had sex then it was rape because she was not in a normal state of mind. It’s like having sex with a dragged person.

    Now that I think about it that woman was violated both mentally and physically.

    • The Blockbuster Chick

      Um… exactly was that making a joke about someone being raped?? The comment I made was about the fact that Clementine had said on the tape she was erasing Joel because he was boring. How did rape come into the comment I made? I’m very confused to say the least. I for one don’t condone rape, I personally feel it is a horrific and horrible act, and I would never create a joke with that scenario in the first place. So can you please explain to me how I was making a joke about rape, because I assure you, and any personal friend of mine can vouch for me, that I would NEVER make a joke about that sensitive subject.

  • chromesthesia

    I would not say this was the worse movie. I rather like it.
    Also I’m probably going to end up catching your accent. There’s just accents I end up thinking in. It’s weird.

  • It seems to me that the film actually addresses every single concern you express — from the lack of chemistry to the initially odd and incomprehensible continuity to some of the stranger character motivations — by its end. You simply need to be patient enough to let it provide the answers.

  • Brian Douglas Macleod

    The amount of times you completely miss the point of the movie is actually kind of laughable.