Screenwriters rarely develop a distinctive voice that can be recognized from movie to movie, but the ornate imagination of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich
) has made him a unique and much-needed cinematic presence. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
, a guy decides to have the memories of his ex-girlfriend erased after she's had him erased from her own memory--but midway through the procedure, he changes his mind and struggles to hang on to their experiences together. In other hands, the premise of memory-erasing would become a trashy science-fiction thriller; Kaufman, along with director Michel Gondry, spins this idea into a funny, sad, structurally complex, and simply enthralling love story that juggles morality, identity, and heartbreak with confident skill. The entire cast--Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, and more--give superb performances, carefully pitched so that cleverness never trumps feeling. A great movie. --Bret Fetzer
The second feature from director Michel Gondry (Human Nature) finds the filmmaker reteaming with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this off the wall romantic comedy. Jim Carrey stars as Joel Barish a man who is informed that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson). Not to be outdone Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself. As Mierzwiak s bumbling underlings Stan (Mark Ruffalo) and Patrick (Elijah Wood) perform the operation on Joel over the course of an evening in his apartment Joel struggles in his own mind to save the memories of Clementine from being. deleted. Kirsten Dunst David Cross and Jane Adams also star. Actors: Jim Carrey - Kate Winslet. Director: Michel Gondry. Format: DVD. Format Size: Widescreen. Runtime: 108 mins. Language: English. Region code: Region 1 (United States Canada Bermuda U.S. territories). Discs: 2. Rating: R. Genre: Comedy. Subgenre: Drama. Release Year: 2004.