I don’t think there is a more perfect movie than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Some time ago I heard a woman on NPR saying that she listens to the Beetle’s White Album every year and that she always finds something new and interesting about it. Someone else said that she would watch Hitchcock’s Vertigo over and over again and that she knew 1958’s San Francisco better than he own current day city.
I have watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind many times. How can you fit a movie like that in a genre? Science fiction? Drama? Romance? Maybe it is this crazy balance between extremes that make this movie so good. It is sad, and happy – almost a passive-aggressive kind of craziness. How about the timeline tricks? The back and forth between present and past? It gives the movie a Memento kind of quality but the plot is not really complicated. It just makes it fun to watch it again. And again.
But the real thing about this movie is that it gets close to defining what marriage is. Why everyone is so afraid of it but they still go through it. How the fantasy of a totally happy life is just as impossible as the fantasy of erasing someone from your life.
I wish every couple to watch it. Especially those who are thinking about divorce. Or maybe those that think they don’t need to worry about it. How about your single friends who are afraid of marriage? I wonder if single people can fully appreciate the movie though. Do they get even more scared of marriage after watching it?
Anyway, this is one of those movies you wish there were more of. Somehow, I feel like I just learned something every time I finish watching it.