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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (***)
Directed by Michel Gondry
Written by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth
Principal Cast
Jim Carrey -- Joel Barish
Kate Winslet -- Clementine Kruczynski
Gerry Robert Byrne -- Train Conductor
Elijah Wood -- Patrick
Thomas Jay Ryan -- Frank
Mark Ruffalo -- Stan
Jane Adams -- Carrie
David Cross -- Rob
Kirsten Dunst -- Mary
Tom Wilkinson -- Dr. Howard Mierzwiak
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a SF art flick, which means it has some boring stretches but an emotional payoff so powerful it more than makes up for them. It would be the most original SF film in years, if it didn't happen to come at the end (I hope it's the end) of a whole slew of movies told backward and an equal number of movies about memory wipes.

The premise of the film is that there is a business in town that can erase your unpleasant memories for you. Now, I have at least as many painful memories as most people, but I would never erase a single one of them. So I did not buy into the premise. I think the memory erasing business could sell its services to the C.I.A., but I don't think many people would accept their services voluntarily, much less pay for them. But, if an SF story begins with flying pigs, you accept flying pigs, and wait to see what happens next.

What happens next is quite realistic, once you buy into the premise. The film doesn't go as far with the idea as a SF novel would, but it has a reasonable number of nice bits, such as the woman sitting in the waiting room with tears in her eyes, clutching a blanket and doggie dish.

Eternal Sunshine is not really about memory wipes. It is about love. And it is one of the most painfully honest movies ever made on that subject. If you have never been in love, if you have never had love go bad, then you probably will not get much out of the movie. If you've never seen a serious movie before, start with Memento and work your way up to this one. But this will be one of the most talked about films of the year. On the Internet Movie DataBase, it is already the number five SF film of all time.

See it with someone you love.

Copyright © 2004 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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