Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Director: Michel Gondry
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 1.5

Is it possible to love a movie's ideas and despise its execution? I think so, which is why this film, which has so many people swooning, left me feeling like an unromantic scrooge. I think the problem lies with both Gondry and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the former being responsible for tinkering with the visual aspects of the film to such an extreme degree that it seems obvious he's trying to impress the audience with a variety of effects and time-leaping, and the latter for not developing the Kate Winslet and perpetually frowning Jim Carrey characters further - they seem like shells of people, and not enough is shown of the breakdown or dynamics of their couple-hood for its disillusion to resonate on an emotional level. When they race through each others' memories - and Carrey's phobias - it feels a lot like Kaufman recycling himself and Being John Malkovich, and the final message - that we need to understand that people are flawed and that healthy relationships demand discussion and compassion - is hardly a revelation (as a treatise on memory, it's inferior to something truly magnificent, like Last Year at Marienbad).