Despite countless viewing, this beautiful and moving love story by Michel Gondry always manages to bring a tear to my eye. What if we could erase things from our memory? Would we? This film digs deep into our most intimate memories and makes us realize how important they really are. it starts off with a somewhat confused Joel Barish, wonderfully portrayed by Jim Carey in what i believe is his best role, his sudden and unexplainable spontaneity leads him to meet an experimental woman named Clementine Kruczynski, played perfectly by Kate Winslet.
Not soon after we realize that not all is as it seems. Flash back a few days prior, we find that not only has Joel already known Clementine, but that they were in a long term relationship. Once Joel has become aware that Clem has had him erased from her memory, he decides to have the procedure done as well. While preparing for the procedure, Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) states, “Technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage, on par with a night of heavy drinking, nothing you’ll miss.”
This implying that the memories we’ve made can be simply erased without risks or emotional repercussions. As we sort through Joel’s more recent memories, we witness the decline of the relationship he and Clementine shared. Most people can relate the feeling of a harsh break up and wanting to forget. These memories are the ones we do wish we could erase. But as we sort further and deeper, we begin to realize, as Joel does, that there is always good memories as well as bad. We see him travel past the fights and quarrels, until we get to their intimate moments. We as the audience begin to notice how in love they truly were, and perhaps how truly in love we might, or might have been with someone we would erase.
Through desperate attempts to hide a memory of Clementine, as to remember her in the morning, through moments in which Joel wishes he could have acted differently, we are forced to think of those times in our lives. Gondry is having us re-evaluate the choices we’ve made, and perhaps helping us make a change before it becomes to late. As the last memory is erased, we back at the beginning with a much more clear understanding of what is happening. We watch them meet again in the same place as they first did 2 years prior. Are somethings meant to be? If given another chance, could things be different? The movie leaves you with an optimistic and positive outlook, as there is always a chance to change things, or if not, at least enjoy the ride for there are always beautiful memories to be made.