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The Mag: Movies: Young lovers mind the gap; ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (15).

Byline: ROZ LAWS

FANS of Jim Carrey's usual work will be bemused and irritated by this complex movie.

But those who don't like the goofball Carrey, and prefer him in more subtle films like The Truman Show, may well be delighted by its quirkiness.

As Joel Barish he is the complete opposite of how we normally see him -in fact he's toned down to the point of introversion.

Joel Barish is painfully shy and pretty hopeless with women, though he still manages to attract kooky Kate Winslet.

There are times at the start of the movie when you'll wonder what on earth is going on, but stick with it because your concentration is rewarded when things start falling into place.

We first see Joel uncharacteristically skiving off work on Valentine's Day to go walking on the beach, where he meets the talkative, blue-haired Clementine (Winslet).

They hit it off and start seeing each other -but then we go back in time by a couple of days and discover that they have in fact met before.

They don't realise it because, when things started to go sour, they had their memories of each other erased by bizarre scientist Tom Wilkinson and his assistants Elijah Wood and Kirsten Dunst.

This all sounds rather odd and it is -you can tell it's written by Charlie Kaufman, who penned Being John Malkovich.

But it's also an interesting, original and multi-layered movie with stirring performances and surreal visuals -a treat for the head and the heart.

You'll leave pondering whether we should forget painful events or accept them as part of life. Surely it's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all?

CAPTION(S):

MIND GAMES: Jim Carrey has his painful memories erased; ODD COUPLE: painfully shy Jim Carrey makes a hit with kooky Kate Winslet
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 2, 2004
Words:304
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