November 10, 2014

Featurette! Adi Alsaid + Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind



Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has been one of my favorite movies since college. It made me look at Jim Carrey in a whole light (I still think this is his best role!) and since re-watching it last weekend, it's probably the most unique character I've ever seen Kate Winslet play. Both actors just inhabit these people. The awkward, fumbling nature of Joel. The passionate and unpredictable Clementine. They seem like the most unlikely couple and yet they fall in love anyway. Then their relationship falls apart and they decide to undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories. And I think that's something anyone who's gone through a bad breakup wishes they could do but this movie shows us why it's better to hold onto those memories even if it hurts. We learn about Joel and Clementine's relationship as each memory gets erased and with every glimpse, we see why they were in love. It's funny, heartbreaking and personal.

And joining me today is author Adi Alsaid who's going to tell us why he loves this movie. (What he wrote is wonderful!)

***


I bought a fluorescent orange sweatshirt almost ten years ago. It has a Nike swoosh on it, but it's my Clementine sweatshirt. That's how much I love Eternal Sunshine. I'll wear an ugly, bright hoodie to feel like I'm a part of it.

I've had a bookmark stitched with a couple of lines of dialogue from the movie. I've owned the DVD at least twice after lending it out and losing it. Sometimes, I reference the movie just to myself, an inside joke that only I am privy to, which is kind of what love is like.

Here's my theory: whether they know it or not, every Eternal Sunshine fan has understood deeply the cliché that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, and we’ve all understood it at the same exact part of the movie. "Mierzwiak," Joel says, beneath the orange-tinted shade of the blanket, "please let me keep this memory. Just this one." In my opinion, it’s the apex of Jim Carrey’s acting career, his finest moment, and it taught me about love. It taught me to treasure whatever I have.

“Do you hear me? I don't want this anymore, I wanna call it off!"

Look, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is not the happiest movie. It's jarring, it’s weird, and after 15 charming minutes, it takes another 30 before we start rooting for the couple again. Unless you've watched it very carefully or very often, it's confusing.

But it's my favorite movie, because it reaches deeper than most stories do. I love the dialogue, the
characters, the music, the colors, the actors, the crazy editing and dreamlike narrative jumps. I've
written a story about Baby Joel. I still want to go to Montauk in February. Sand will forever be overrated in my mind. My major relationships have only ever ended in friendly breakups, and I think this movie is the reason why.

Eternal Sunshine does what only the best stories can: tell a tired tale (couple breaks up) in a way that's so powerful, it becomes not only memorable, but crucial. It wraps itself around your DNA, shapes who you are, how you see the world. If that sounds like overblown sentimentality, you're damn right. That's what the movie does to me. It pulls me in. Makes me think that the dialogue applies to my life. Makes me buy orange sweatshirts.

***

Thank you Adi for stopping by the blog today! 
I hope we convinced you to check out this movie! 


And with that, here's one of my favorite lines from the movie: 



(P.S. I really hope you guys liked the new feature! I already have other author/movie pairings in mind. But some of my other favorite movies include: Almost Famous, Once, Two For the Road, Labyrinth, Strictly Ballroom, Little Mermaid and Empire Records. If you know of any authors who love these movies too, please email or tweet me! Thanks!) 

2 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. I love this feature! And movie. Yes, better to have loved and lost than to have never at all. This movie is so perfect. I love it. There's no real happy ending. You can't just go back and (erase what you've done. Great post. I need to finish Let's Get Lost.

    --Amber

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  2. Okay, seriously, I loved what Adi had to say about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind! It definitely conveys why he loves this film so much. But it also served to remind me why I enjoyed it too, and successfully makes me want to watch it again sometime soon. I'm loving this feature, and I absolutely cannot wait to see more!

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