Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a 2004 American science fiction film about an estranged couple who have each other erased from their memories, scripted by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry. The film uses elements of science fiction, nonlinear narration and neosurrealism to explore the nature of memory and romantic love. It opened in North America on March 19, 2004, and grossed over US$70 million worldwide.
Kaufman and Gondry worked on the story with Pierre Bismuth, a French performance artist. The film stars an ensemble cast starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, Jane Adams, and David Cross.
The title is taken from the poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope, the story of a tragic love affair, where forgetfulness became the heroine's only comfort:
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
The film was a critical and commercial success, developing a strong cult following and receiving a myriad of accolades, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. The film was lauded by critics as one of the best and most thought-provoking films of 2004.
Joel: Excuse me?
Clementine: I just said hi.
Joel: Oh! Hi, hello.
Clementine: I'm Clementine... No jokes about my name.
Joel: I don't know any jokes about your name.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound.
Joel: I don't know what that is.
Clementine: Huckleberry Hound!
Clementine: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine.
Joel: I don't know what that means.
Clementine: Are you NUTS?
Joel: It's been suggested.
Joel: [in the house on the beach] I really should go! I've gotta catch my ride.
Clementine: So go.
Joel: I did. I thought maybe you were a nut... but you were exciting.
Clementine: I wish you had stayed.
Joel: I wish I had stayed too. NOW I wish I had stayed. I wish I had done a lot of things. I wish I had... I wish I had stayed. I do.
Clementine: Well I came back downstairs and you were gone!
Joel: I walked out, I walked out the door!
Joel: I don't know. I felt like I was a scared little kid, I was like... it was above my head, I don't know.
Clementine: You were scared?
Joel: Yeah. I thought you knew that about me. I ran back to the bonfire, trying to outrun my humiliation.
Clementine: Was it something I said?
Joel: Yeah, you said "so go." With such disdain, you know?
Clementine: Oh, I'm sorry.
Joel: It's okay.
Clementine: Joely? What if you stayed this time?
Joel: I walked out the door. There's no memory left.
Clementine: Come back and make up a good-bye at least. Let's pretend we had one.
[Joel comes back]
Clementine: Bye Joel.
Joel: I love you...
Clementine: Meet me... in Montauk...