Jun 14, 2024

Meet Me In Montauk

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Mahoning Drive-In Theater - Lehighton, PA
The second Thursday Thread-Up of 2024 was a film that turned twenty years old this March.  It favorite romantic drama of all time: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

Show banner designed by Andrew Kern

Thursday nights when it's not raining are the perfect times to bring little Harvey out to the drive-in.  He loves the place!  He gets loved on by pretty much everyone who sees him, and he gets to meet lots of other dogs in a wide open space where they can play.  Another perk is the fact that Donnie, our friend on the lot crew, has started a dog raffle on Thursday and Sunday nights.  Every dog who comes onto the lot gets a ticket at the front gate, and a ticket is drawn before the start of the film.  The winning pooch receives either a nice dog toy or a bag of treats.

There are few movies that connect with me as strongly as this does.  I saw it for the first time when I was 24 and it was still on the new release wall at Blockbuster Video.  On first viewing, I was fascinated by Lacuna's memory erasing service and thinking about how this would effect the world if it existed.  The second time I saw it, I was mesmerized by the way that it was shot and edited.  The scenes of Joel reliving his memories and trying to hide Clementine in the dark corners of his mind to prevent her from being erased entirely are absolutely brilliant.  However, the thing that has stuck with me is the relationship between the two lead characters.

I'm not opposed to romantic dramas as a genre, but they're not the kind of films that I usually gravitate towards.  It's not that they're bad films, but I can't relate to them at all.  More often than not, the characters in these films are rich, successful, and obscenely attractive, and the scenes and the dialogue that take place between them are so over-the-top that I spend a good portion of the movie rolling my eyes.  None of that is true in this movie.  I've known people like Joel and Clementine.  I've been in both of their shoes at various points in my life.  I've had relationships that felt like what I'm seeing on the screen.  Despite the sci-fi nature of the memory erasing service and the other-worldly nature of the story as it takes you through Joel's memory being erased as he's remembering it, this is by far the most relatable love story that I've ever seen on the big screen, and it's one of the greatest movies of the 21st century.