March 5, 2004 marked the third time I’d chatted with Charlie Kaufman, but the first time with Michel Gondry. The folks you brought us HUMAN NATURE and now ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND aren’t quite like anyone else I’ve ever talked with. By turns philosophical and whimsical, they covered the nature of love, studio executives, and the life on the road during a press tour.
As for the film itself, check to see if Hell has frozen over, if there are flocks of pigs flying overhead, if theres a rip in the space/time continuum, because I’ve seen something that I was sure would never happen: Jim Carrey giving a mature, nuanced performance that is both genuinely affecting and deeply moving. That grail that he has been seeking, and missing, with films like THE MAJESTIC, has manifested itself without his usual hyper shtick or maudlin schmaltz. Where has this Jim Carrey been hiding all these years and why did he wait so long to appear?
Is it the alchemy of writer Charles Kaufman (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, HUMAN NATURE, ADAPTATION) and director Michel Gondry (HUMAN NATURE)? Whatever it was, he adds an ineffable sweet sadness to this complex tale of love found, lost, and then rediscovered in Kaufman’s suitably novel way. Anything less than novel and complex from Kaufman would be unutterably disappointing.
THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, a line from Pope extolling the joys of blissful ignorance, dares to disagree with Pope’s premise and convincingly make the case. Love is messy, love is pain, love doesnt always work out, but love is, against all reason, somehow worth it.