There will forever be a special place in my heart for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The first time I saw this movie I was laying on the floor in my parents' basement, my mother and two younger brothers were sitting on the sofa behind me. I remember crying and trying to hide it, and then my mother's negative reaction. She hated it. I couldn't understand why.
First, let's get the unavoidable out of the way. Yes, everyone tells me that I remind them of Clementine. There are a million reasons why people say this...and all of them are valid arguments. It is true, that in my younger days I was a lot more impulsive, a lot more volatile, and often felt confined while in relationships. I was undeniably high-maintenance, a heavy drinker, and a bit on the crazy side. Her good points, her bad points, her insecurities...they could have used me as a template for her character. These days, I'm not as volatile, high-maintenance, or drunk (believe it or not, it's true)...I'm more sure of who I am, and more comfortable as part of a couple...but I do still have a lot of Clem in me. That one line of hers, "Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked-up girl who's lookin' for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours" is still 100% me. Mainly though, people tell me that I remind them of her because of the hair thing...I've had every color imaginable.
|This is only a SMALL sample|
That's not why I love this movie though. Yes, that's part of it...and yes, it's visually stunning...and yes, haven't we all wanted to erase someone from our memory at one time or another? All of those are reasons that I enjoy it. The reason this movie resonates within me so violently is because I have such a deep emotional connection with it. There are those out there that dislike this movie because it makes them feel depressed, and yes, I can see where they are coming from. What I want to know is, have they ever had someone they loved with every single cell of their being walk away from them without a backwards glance? Has the very absence of someone in their life caused them to physically ache in a way that is inexpressible, except by the body shaking, gut wrenching, gasping sobs they cry into their pillows at night, hoping no one hears? Have I? Yes. Once...and I can see how this movie would be a punch in the gut...and it sort of still is to me. This movie wreaks havoc on my emotions...but I love it...because I have had a love that made my heart feel as if it would burst...and then tore me to little pieces and left me smoldering in the ashes. Yes, it was the most painful experience of my life thus far...but I felt something. I had someone that I loved so much that losing them was unbearable for a very long time. Love, even when it ends, is still a gift.
I think the thing that gets me most is that they know their relationship had problems, they've listened to each other pick apart the other on tape. They know how fucked up their relationship had to be in order for the other to say those things, and then erase them completely from their minds. They know this...and yet...they are willing to say 'What the hell!' and try again...because their pull towards each other is so strong. That's something I identify with on a level that I'm not willing to discuss here. Not in an abusive relationship type scenario...not like that at all. More like, a relationship you had that didn't work out for one reason or another, but you'd go through hell for them still....