Listen to our Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind episode on:
It’s probably telling that in devising sequel ideas for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this week, neither myself nor Harry chose to revisit the central love story. There’s plenty of potential story left off camera between Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet’s Joel and Clementine, but even so, what we do see is such a beautifully realised and complete story that to add to it – even for comedy podcasting purposes – would feel completely unnecessary. (This is, incidentally, the main reason I’ve consistently vetoed doing an episode on my favourite film of all time – Muriel’s Wedding.)
While nowhere near the biggest box office success either would be involved in, both Carrey and Winslet would probably cite Eternal Sunshine among the most important projects of their respective careers. Having already shown he could do more than broad physical comedy with 1998’s The Truman Show, Carrey is still practically unrecognisable as the broken, deeply introverted Joel Barish, while in a fair world Winslet’s remarkably layered performance as Clementine Kruczynski would have won her her first Oscar.
Despite their wildly different backgrounds and acting styles, Carrey and Winslet both create heartbreakingly believable characters who are totally believable as a couple, and though the film ends on what could be considered a cliffhanger for their relationship, it’s not the sort that invites you to follow them into the next chapter of their lives. Some things are better left offscreen.
There’s a lot more mileage to be found in the film’s (intentionally?) flimsy sci-fi premise, in which a deeply unethical and horrifyingly unprofessional group of technicians wipe out whole sections of their patients’ minds as casually as emptying an email spam folder. Is their practice legal? Is it medically sanctioned? What other nefarious means could a procedure that its architect offhandedly describes as ‘brain damage’ be turned to? Eternal Sunshine… isn’t interested in answering those questions, and nor should it be – they’re hardly the point of this beautiful and poetic movie.
Which fortunately leaves plenty of room for us…
John’s Pitch | Eternal Winter of the Wandering Mind
Harry’s Pitch | Eternal Moonlight of the Spotless Mind
Our Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind episode is available through iTunes, Stitcher, aCast and various other podcast hosting channels. Lend us your ears and let us know what you think of our sequel ideas. If you like what you hear, we’d really appreciate a review on your preferred channel. You can also subscribe to make sure you never miss a future episode.
Fan submissions are also strongly encouraged here at Beyond The Box Set, so if you have any ideas about an Eternal Sunshine sequel you’d like to see, let us know in the comments section below. You can also get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter. Best ideas will receive a shout-out on a future episode, plus a FREE CAR!*
*There is no free car.