The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), dir. Michel Gondry

A film that’s confusing, strange, and entirely out of the box. One that you might have to watch twice to understand. But one that is entirely and utterly beautiful, important, and true. 

This film taught me a lot about love. It taught me a lot about love in a real sense. It taught me that relationships aren’t perfect. They aren’t always joyful and patient. They aren’t like the movies. But it taught me that love is

We are humans. We are impatient, we are flawed, we are impure. We have emotions that can range from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. We can’t support each other, and we will never be enough. Another human will never be able to take care of you enough. And that’s ok. You are still held, trust me. 

But in spite of all our faults, love is still there. Yes, we are impatient and angered, but doesn’t mean we don’t love. We are flawed, but we are all flawed together. We are impure, but that does not mean we don’t forgive. Love exists in the midst of all of these things. In between anger and impatience and failure is forgiveness and affection and devotion. In between two imperfect humans is perfect love. It may not be ours, but it’s there, and it’s perfect. 

This movie taught me this: There is both good and bad in relationships. They don’t come easy, and they are hard work. Things will never be perfect. And things won’t always go as planned. But love is entirely, completely, and honestly worth it. Love is worth the work and the anger and the hardship. It’s too good to erase. Yes, there is bad. But is the good not enough to fight through it? There is pain and sorrow and hurt in life and in love. But to erase it, along with all of the joy and love and companionship, would be a waste. To love is to say ok to both the good and the bad, the pain and the joy. 

Joel: I can’t see anything that I don’t like about you.

Clementine: But you will! But you will. You know, you will think of things. And I’ll get bored with you and feel trapped because that’s what happens with me.

Joel: Okay.

Clementine: [pauses] Okay.

Vivian Chambers