So many movies from 10 years ago look dated or kind of irrelevant nowadays — but as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind reaches its 10th birthday, people are noticing that it feels as though no time has passed. Almost as if the intervening decade had been erased from our minds.
Writing in Examiner, Brian Zittelman notes that this film ought to feel dated — there are lots of shots of people tapping on keyboards and computer-generated scenes of memories being erased, not to mention old cars and stuff.
But instead, it feels as though it hasn't aged a day. Zittelman writes:
It all feels as if it was filmed today. This is basically two-fold. First is that Charlie Kaufman's script and Michel Gondry's direction isn't actually interested in the science fiction element of the plot. In another team's hands, one can imagine montages of how the erasing works, at least for the Lacuna techs doing said erasing. The movie's machines couldn't be plainer and the simplicity of how it looks goes to keeping it from appearing from another era or like some poorly imagined futuristic device. Jim Carrey's Joel sports what amounts to a big metal helmet with some wires and that's about it.
The second factor is how perfectly put together the relationship of Joel and Kate Winslet's Clementine is in its ups and downs. There's the meet-cute on the train, which it turns out isn't really them meeting. We see them fight about personal things in the street, biting at each other in a way only two people who've spent countless hours together do. The way Clementine berates Joel about speaking too softly is a little detail that reveals a great depth to their past interactions; a small thing that has grown into the occasional piece of pure annoyance.
Tons more, including how fresh the movie's relationship themes also feel, over at Examiner.