21 March 2011

Daily Dose of Culture - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a beautiful picture of love. It is difficult and messy, but amazingly beautiful. The title comes from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope. 

The story starts out with Joel and Clementine meeting on a train. She is crazy and impulsive, and has bright orange hair that she changes with her mood. He is quiet and introverted and expresses himself through art and writing.
As the story progresses, we learn that Joel has gone to a clinic to have all of his memories about Clementine erased, because she rashly decided to do the same after their recent break up. He can't handle the hurt of the breakup and her rejection of ever knowing him, and he wants to get back at her by forgetting her completely.
As they start to erase his memory, though, Joel changes his mind. We watch as he relives every memory they erase, and he realizes how much he loves her. We see the good and the bad of their relationships - how they fell in love and why they broke up. Joel is reminded of everything he hated about Clementine - she was rash and insecure and moody. She was flighty. But through all of these reminders he is fighting to get her back.

In the end, after they have erased each other from their memory and met again, they find out that they were in a relationship before. They find out about each other's crap - they hear the worst of it - but they choose to make it work anyway.
They know they dated before.
They know they broke up and why.
And they decided they would work through it, because they love each other.

This movie is not the same kind of mushy love usually found in chick flicks. It's not about their flirting and dating. It's about their fighting - against and for each other.

I guess what I love most about this movie is that it gives me hope. A lot of times I feel broken in the same ways that Clementine is. I am insecure. I feel worthless a lot. I run away from my problems, or ignore them.
It is a beautiful thing to me to see a movie that says I don't have to be perfect. I just have to love. I don't have to have long hair, I don't have to be strong and independent, I don't have to sing beautifully, I don't have to always be flirty, look sexy, or have everything together.
I just have to give love and work hard.
I can do those things.


No comments: