The undisputed heavyweight champion of my favorite films. I always thought it broke some kind of mold in terms of screenplay structure, but it really doesn't. It follows all the rules of how you lay out in a tragic love story... only backwards.
I try not to get into the mindset of beating myself up for not thinking of a concept before someone else. Break-up stories are a fertile garden, and many writers do their best work while trying to pick up the pieces of a traumatic situation. But SHIT, I strive every day to concoct something this brilliant.
Writing and directing and everything production-wise aside, the performances are fucking money. With a concept this high, you need all your actors to be on board and delivering. Elijah Wood as the creep, Tom Wilkinson as the seemingly grandpa-like-but-really-sleazy mastermind behind it all, Mark Ruffalo as the bookish, lovelorn technician, Kirsten Dunst as the unfortunate aftermath of this whole experiment, all amazing... and, of course, there's Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.
This is the best work of Carrey's career. He takes every typecast he's ever established for himself and flips it inside-out. And Kate Winslet... I had a conversation last night about the "pixie dream girl" in movies. Clementine is the prom queen. She really should have gotten an Oscar for this. I can't for the life of me remember who won that year.
Anyway, this scene... I haven't experience chills as hard as I did after I heard Winslet whisper what should be on every top-ten most memorable quotes in cinema lists. It's the glue that ties this bizarre circus-of-the-mind together. It justifies everything we've seen up until this point. It's what saves Joel and Clementine. It's the proper goodbye we wish we'd had with a certain someone.
I could go on and on and on about this. Just watch the film, if you haven't. If you have, watch it again. It's unforgettable (see what I did there?!)