Like the sunshine :: my favorite movies

like the sunshine

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 

Joely?” ~ Clementine

Yeah, Tangerine?” ~ Joel

Am I ugly?” ~ Clementine

Uh-uh.” ~ Joel

When I was a kid, I thought I was. I can’t believe I’m crying already. Sometimes I think people don’t understand how lonely it is to be a kid, like you don’t matter. So, I’m eight, and I have these toys, these dolls. My favorite is this ugly girl doll who I call Clementine, and I keep yelling at her, ‘You can’t be ugly! Be pretty!” It’s weird, like if I can transform her, I would magically change, too.” ~ Clementine

[kisses Clementine] “You’re pretty.” ~ Joel

Joely, don’t ever leave me.” ~ Clementine

You’re pretty…you’re pretty…pretty…” ~ Joel

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind trailer

Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime :: Beck

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (10)

There are a million reasons why I relate to this movie so much, and why Clementine resonates with me so deeply. This scene, and the conversation they have, is one of the biggest ones. There is this near constant undercurrent of insecurity that plagues me incessantly. Most of the times I can manage to ignore it, or if it isn’t disregard, it is that I’m so used it being part of my make-up that I just plod along with it in tow. It does not seem to affect my daily life much, and I’ve learned to push through its naggings, especially in the realm of work and parenthood, and just tell myself that I’m good at what I do. I’m a good employee, and I’m a good mother, these things hardly come into question for me.

But, that internal beast of insecurity is impossible to shut up when I let myself care about someone. I have typically such a thick wall around me when it comes to relationships, and love, that the insecurity tends to sleep, or turn off, when I deal with things like dating, or talking with someone who I deep down know there is no potential with. But, the few times I’ve let the walls down, and let my heart get into the picture, and fall for someone – well that insecurity is shaken violently awake and all the years of hurt, pain and rejections – those ever-echoing feelings of never being enough, or being too much, come front and center, poking at me, making it impossible to ignore.

That’s when the over-thinking starts, and the doubts, and the questioning everything I do. I feel like I start to ready myself for failure, feeling as if I screw up anything that really matters to me, and that I am just going to mess it all up again. It is so defeating, so painful, so heartbreaking to feel this way and I truly hate it, but I don’t know how to stop it. I try to breathe through it, but my breath gets caught in my throat, choking me. I find myself (even more) sleepless. I start to feel needy, and irrationally sad. And then I start deciding that things are falling apart, even when they are not at all. Around this time I shut down, go quiet, sink lower than anyone ever seems to really notice.

The only buoy in the water of all this self-doubt is the need to be reaffirmed. I’m an honest person, and I try to be open, so I will usually try to reach out – try, not always succeeding. And it is then, in those moments that I am at my most fragile. It is then when I truly need to be held and told that I’m alright just as myself. But that – that part – feels so impossible to ask for.

It really hurts, some days, to be this way.

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[last lines]

I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you.” ~ Joel

Okay.” ~ Joel

[pauses] “Okay.” ~ Clementine

Last scene

3 thoughts on “Like the sunshine :: my favorite movies

  1. Joel (Jim Carrey) is a rather milquetoast man who meets up with free spirit Clementine (Kate Winslet), and they become romantically involved. However, they endure a messy breakup and Clementine goes to a business called Lacuna, Inc., where she has all of her memories of Joel erased. Not wanting to be left out, Joel also goes to have his memory erased. However, soon after it begins, Joel realizes that he wants to keep the memory of Clementine, so he tries to reverse the process.

    Well, if you’re familiar with Kaufman’s work, then you know what your getting yourself into. This is just as weird if not weirder than his previous work, Being John Malkovich. I knew what I was getting myself into, but 90% of the movie I was saying to myself “What the hell is going on?”, but in a good way. It opens with Joel calling in sick for work and going on a different train, heading for Montauk. He meets Clementine and they hit it off. Now this is about 15 minutes into the movie, then out of nowhere come the opening credit sequence. I will admit, I thought it would be different, but I’m glad that it is the way it is, the movie is 80% of the time in Joel’s head.

    If you think you know Carrey, think again. This movie is his best performance, better than Majestic, Truman show and all of his comedic roles (which is what I love him for). Just looking at his face from the second we see him, we feel his pain, then like that, we feel his joy, embarrassment and hate. Just awesome acting on his part, and Winslet was great as the free spirit who never seems satisfied. The supporting cast all work well in their small, yet important roles. Oscar nominations for Winslet and (crosses fingers) Carrey.

    But if I were to bet any money on any Oscar nominations it would obviously be the writing, what a mess, but beautifully constructed. You think to yourself, is that scene really necessary? Then ten minutes later you think to yourself how brilliant it was, that’s beautiful, crazy, give me whatever he’s smoking kind of writing. Charlie Kaufman’s writing is always clever, but this time he’s one-upped himself by making something simultaneously bizarre and emotionally engaging. It seemed like his earlier movies were clever for the sake of cleverness, but ‘Eternal Sunshine’ manages to dazzle you with it’s originality and it’s poignancy. The fact that this movie was able to wrap such profound loss, emotional tenderness, and hope in such a self-consciously stylized package illustrates the incredible talent of the people behind it.

    Michel Gondry’s use of vibrant coloring and quick camera movement give the film a very involving first hand feeling. The constant use of the handy cam is very all involving for the viewer, and I suppose that this is exactly what is needed in such a personal movie. His work on the dream sequences is incredible as well. He decides to use more practical effects than what we see today with computers.

    Eternal Sunshine is a tragic, yet beautiful film that sits at the top of my list of “Best of 2004”.

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