Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

It’s taken me far too long to get around to seeing this film, as an admirer of Kaufman’s writing (Adaptation is in my top ten favourite films) it makes no sense that I would take so long to get to this modern classic. Regardless I’ve felt shameful for too long, now hopefully I can redeem myself.

My biggest worry with this one would be Jim Carrey. Now I like the guy, I love a lot of his performances, however I just wasn’t sure that I could buy him in this film. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is a perfect role for Carrey; it allows him to indulge in his crazy antics from time to time, but it also exposed a side of him which I hadn’t seen before. His introverted role here was a breath of fresh air for me, creating a believable character who I really could connect to. He wasn’t the only pleasant surprise though, Kate Winslet was so very enjoyable in her role. She was very different to Carey, but so kinetic and fun that I just found myself loving her time on screen.

I did find myself comparing Eternal to Adaptation a couple of times, and Adaptation does feel like the braver, more intelligent film. Whereas Eternal discusses humanity and heartbreak it doesn’t seem to go much further than that other than a brief comment on technology and also our seemingly destructive nature. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this one, I think it is one of the best films of the previous decade and I’m extremely glad that I have now seen it, but Adaptation is the true Kaufman classic in my eyes.

2 thoughts on “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  1. In my mind, ETERNAL SUNSHINE and ADAPTATION are two points along the Kaufman spectrum. It’s the age old war in fiction/film between head and heart (and Kaufman swings heavily toward the head already). The thrill of ADAPTATION lies in the intellectual property, the conscious analysis. ADAPTATION itself falters, in my mind, because it comes off as cold and calculating. More a mental exercise than a complete film. I do not gleefully enjoy ADAPTATION the same way that I do ETERNAL SUNSHINE or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH… but all are in many ways brilliant films.

    ADAPTATION just draws me in less than the others. I can turn off ADAPTATION at any point and walk away without regret… but once I start either MALKOVICH or SUNSHINE, I’m hooked.

    • Fair point, I can really see where you are coming from however fro me Adaptation is very warm. I don’t think I thought so on my first viewing though.

      The dialogue between the two Kaufman’s about love when they are stuck in the swamp I think is really nice, and soon after with what happens to one of them. There are a number of quiet moments in that film which I really like, but which I can also see how someone would take them as being rather cold. If that makes sense.

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