The Streaming Sci-Fi All-Star Heartbreaker You Will Never Forget

By Britta DeVore | Updated

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there are (typically speaking) two camps of people – those who love the holiday and would rather set themselves on fire than lean into it. If you’re part of the latter grouping – or just bitter about love in general – the Criterion Channel has you completely set up with one of the most heart-wrenching features of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. With an incredible cast that features Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in leading roles, the film is the perfect title to dig into that feeling of sadness this Valentine’s season.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Is A One Of A Kind Film

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Part sci-fi, part romance, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a truly unique project from Michel Gondry, the filmmaker behind other productions like The Science of Sleep and The Green Hornet. The movie introduces audiences to Carrey’s Joel Barish, an introverted man living in New York City who – on a whim – decides to ditch work for the day and take a train out to Montauk. During his grand day off, his path keeps crossing with Winslet’s Clementine Kruczynski, an extroverted free spirit with the opposite philosophy of life as Joel.

A Lesson About Taking The Easy Path

Together, the pair strikes up an unlikely relationship that almost immediately takes a romantic turn, and for two years, they date one another. When their partnership comes to a messy and speedy halt, Clementine decides to erase Joel and their entire time together from her mind, which Joel also does after finding out that his ex underwent the procedure first. At its essence, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about forgetting the heartache instead of working through it, which may seem easier at the time but also crosses out the lessons you may have learned along the way.

A Very Different Type Of Movie For The Cast

Along with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind also featured performances from the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson. The project directly went against the other titles from which audiences had known Carrey and Winslet. It was very different from the period dramas that Winslet had been cast in, and while there are dark comedic tones throughout, it was also a big step out of the ordinary for Carrey.

An Award-Winning Hit With Critics And Fans

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind took off like wildfire upon its release in 2004. It was a huge hit with fans and rocked the awards circuit that year, taking home a handful of nominations and wins at such events as the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, and the Golden Globe Awards. Many were particularly pulled in by the original script and the performances of its talented cast, which likely went hand in hand with the risk of not typecasting the two leading roles.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Still Holds Up Today

Now, a full two decades later, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind still holds a place in pop culture history, with the phrase “Meet me in Montauk” practically part of the vernacular. Artists like Halsey and Ariana Grande have referenced it in their work, and with the holiday of love quickly approaching, it would be a terrific movie to add to your watchlist as it’s now streaming on the Criterion Channel.