*Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen 50 First Dates or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The movie I have most recently watched, or revisited, is 50 First Dates, one of my favorite Rom-Coms. While watching it, one particular theme reminded me of another favorite film of mine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
In the Adam Sandler classic, we follow the story of a girl named Lucy (Drew Barrymore) who wakes up living the same day over and over due to a head injury that causes her to lose her short term memory. A typical playboy stereotype named Henry meets her one day and after realizing Lucy will never remember who he is, he creates a tape to catch her up on what she’s missed everyday. Though they eventually go their separate ways, Henry won’t give up.
Now, in the Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet classic, we follow the downfalls of an unhealthy relationship that causes this couple to take drastic measures in order to move on. In particular, we follow Joel (Jim Carrey), who discovers his ex girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has erased him altogether from her memory. Out of spite and bitterness, Joel himself decides to do the same, only to regret it before the procedure is complete. But regardless of their memories being swiped clean, they still manage to find each other again and start over.
While 50 First Dates is much more light hearted and sweet than the dark comedy Eternal Sunshine, there is a moment where Lucy, shows Henry her collection of paintings she’s been doing of him from her dreams. While she may not be able to remember him consciously, subconsciously, he never left her mind. Just the same way that the characters Joel and Clementine erase each other from their memories, yet still subconsciously remember to meet up and find each other immediately.
It’s interesting to see one story where someone wants so desperately to remember the one her heart loves, while another couple forcefully to try to forget who their heart once loved.
The main outcome and goal of each film is different, but a few elements remain the same, one of those being that no matter what you try to forget, or what you think you’ve forgotten, both good and bad, will remain somewhere in your brain and heart forever.
Maybe this is one reason we get a bit of deja vu or why we end up going to therapy for things we truly believed we had healed from. In the conscious mind, where we fill our heads up with an overload of information, to the point of knowingly or unknowingly suppressing something that hurts us or bothers us, we find that many times these situations will haunt us in our dreams, because it’s never truly gone. Like the internet, it finds a way to pop up when you least expect it.
In the case of these two unusual couples, whether trying to remember or forget, ultimately, they just want to be happy and particularly be happy with each other.
So what are your thoughts? Have you ever tried so hard to forget something, only to have it keep coming back?
Or maybe you’re someone who suffers from short term memory loss and wish so badly it would be easier to remember the little things from day to day.
I, for one, can definitely relate to both scenarios. I think in the end, all we can do is try our best to heal or train our brain depending on our journey.
So take a moment to breath today, and oh yeah, if you haven’t seen either of these memory based films, then I highly suggest them both, maybe even back to back to observe and compare.
Enjoy your day!
Love and Blessings, Storm.