Occasionally, I go and see a total whim when by all logic it doesn't sound that appealling. I don't like Carrey (except for his turn as Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, I've found him difficult to tolerate), and I've never really got to grips with any of Charlie Kaufman's work. Nor did the premise of this sound particularly interesting. As the film unfolded, I gradually became the only person sitting in the cinema.
Probably because the audience expected a dull, common denominator 'comedy' which consisted of Jim Carrey pulling silly faces and prancing around for an hour and a half. Instead, they got a brilliantly conceived story of romance and a piece of cinematic magic.
From the opening section where Joel (Carrey) and Clemantine (Winslet) meet on a train, I was engrossed. This is undoubtedly Carrey's finest performance, as he plays the somewhat insecure Joel. Discovering that his somewhat crazy ex-girlfriend Clemantine has had all memories of their relationship erased through an experimental procedure, Joel decides to have the same procedure performed.
Not only is the core relationship one you can believe in and root for, it's tightly wound together. Elements that fail to make sense at the begin are made clear half-way through, as Carrey races through the maze of his memories of Clemantine, watched over by the dodgy medical crew overseeing the procedure.
The directing is wonderful with some surreal sequences in Joel's memories, the acting is excellent throughout and it has that ethereal something that separates a good film from a truly great one.