Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
Independent films production company, Focus Features, has released some of my favorite movies. It is the art house films division of Universal. I really like their logo; it’s very artsy. One of their more successful films is, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Boasting a pretty stellar cast with Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, and Tom Wilkinson, ES is one of the more unique story-lines I’ve encountered.
Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Winslet) meet and strike up a relationship on a train from Montauk, NY. Joel is emotionally guarded and Clementine is a nutty, free spirit. This meeting, however, was not their first. In fact, they recently just separated after two years together, but do to a little procedure they both undergo, they don’t remember this. Most of the movie plays out in Joel’s mind as it is being erased by employees of Lacuna. These employees (Wood, Dunst, Ruffalo, and Wilkinson) all play peripheral roles in the main character’s lives, and we see these moments intermittently throughout the film.
The movie can get pretty depressing and high-strung at some points but I think it beautifully mirrors the arcing story of Joel an Clementine. It is quirky and insightful and can really make you think about choices you have made and the effect we have on each others lives. I, myself, love the ending. If you need a good film to stir your heart and mind, give Eternal Sunshine a shot.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000), Disney
Two things I love in a movie; sarcasm and endless memorable quotes! The Emperor’s New Groove has both in spades, or rather because of Spade. David Spade voices the lead character, Emperor Kuzco, and manages to bring Tommy Boy type humor and sarcasm to this clever film, but he keeps it kid and family friendly. John Goodman lends his familiar voice to the character of Pacha, a local villager who wins hearts and provides many moments of dead pan humor. The villain of the story is Yzma, voiced by Eartha Kitt, and she is one ugly Disney villain. Perhaps one of my all-time favorite villains, Yzma is a diva and a very demanding employer; just ask Kronk, her right-hand goon, voiced by Patrick Warburton of Seinfield fame. My two favorite scenes of Kronk’s are when he provides his own theme music while he is sneaking out to get rid of Kuzco after Yzma’s attempt to poison him turn the emperor into a llama, and the ending scenes with Kronk leading the Junior Chipmunks and ‘speaking’ squirrel. I think Warburton and Spade provide the most humor throughout the film. The best part for me is that it is sarcastic humor for the majority of the film and this is what makes the film adult worthy. There are so many quotes that I won’t attempt to list them, but I encourage you to check out imdb’s page of memorable quotes and have a good laugh. Of course if you haven’t yet seen this movie, they are always better in context, so rent the movie! If you need more encouragement, check out the clips below. They’ll brighten your day at the very least.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote of the movie provided by Emperor Kuzco. It is my go to quote when I’m trying to be sneaky and get caught!
Kuzko: [after throwing a rock at Pacha’s head, acting innocent] Huh? What? I didn’t do anything. I didn’t… Somebody’s throwin’ stuff. You gonna build a fire or what?