I recently rented and watched this film and I have to say – it was nothing like I thought it would be. Of course, that begs the question of what I thought it would be and truthfully speaking, I’m not sure what it was I was thinking when I rented it. But let me tell you what I got and why it’s an appropriate topic point for the marriage blog.
In the film, two strangers meet on a beach. They seem drawn to each other and they decide to spend the evening together. By the end of their first night, Clementine (Kate Winslet) declares that she is going to marry Joel (Jim Carrey). That sounds very sweet, on the surface, but you see – this is not the first time that Clementine and Joel have met. In fact, they’re very old lovers who decided to have their memories erased after they had a bad break-up.
No Baggage, Fresh Start
Because their memories were erased, Clementine and Joel are able to reconnect and start dating again. What gets disturbing is that they repeat this trend – over and over again. The movie ends with them running across a beach that is snow-covered and meeting again – for the umpteenth time. Based on some reading about the film, the original script ended with the middle-aged couple having their memories erased after yet another break-up.
So what is the point of this film? What does it mean to have the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? That breakups, arguments, bad endings and good – these experiences are all apart of us. If we were to erase such painful memories – we’d be doomed to repeating the same mistakes, over and over and over again.
Even without the ability to erase our memories, time can heal anger, resentment and sadness. It’s not uncommon for former couples to reunite once, twice, three times or more – each time attempting to recapture and reunite the relationship they had. Sometimes they repeat the same mistakes of their former couplings, but other times they actually demonstrate they don’t repeat the same mistakes and actually form a stronger, more cohesive bond.
I know two couples that were together for years, broke up and then two or three years down the road got back together again. In one case, the couple were married, separated, but never completed their divorce. When they got back together again – they discovered that all the things that separated them really didn’t compare to what they had when they were together. In the other case, the couple needed to grow up and mature. Only after a couple of years apart and doing a lot of growing up on both parts were they able to sustain a mature relationship between the two of them.
While we cannot erase our memories, we can heal the bad relationships in our lives. We can learn from our past mistakes and from our bad breakups. We can use that knowledge to help sustain our current relationships and marriages.
Have you seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?