Few women in life are memorable. Fewer women in film are so. Joel (Jim Carrey) doesn’t remember ripping the pages from his journal. Apparently, it’s been two years since his last entry. Taking a day off work in February, walking the beach in Montauk seems to ease his preoccupation with the guy who had hit his car overnight. He’s a mess. Maybe he should get back with Naomi. She loved Joel.
Clementine (Kate Winslet) captures Joel’s attention in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It may be because he saw her slip a shot of alcohol into her mug at a restaurant or because of her blue hair. Then there’s the fact they take the same train together and he can’t lift his eyes off her, but she’s someone worthy to have eyes on. After all, Women Who Wow Wednesday wouldn’t be what it is without a female lead to think of as worthy.
She says, “Hi,” and he answers, “I’m sorry?” He can’t believe she’s talking to him.
She asks him if he ever shops at Barnes & Noble. He says sure. She then says that’s where she’s positive they met. She’s been a book slave for five years, but he probably doesn’t recognize her because of the hair color. It changes a lot. Today her hair is called Blue Ruin. Tomorrow it may be Red Menace, Yellow Fever or maybe even Green Revolution.
She introduces herself as Clementine and asks for no jokes about her name, please. Not because they offend her, but because she’s heard them all before: Huckleberry Hound comes to mind, “Oh, my darlin’, oh, my darlin’, oh, my darlin’ Clementine. You were lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clementine.”
Joel loves the name, calling it pretty, then says, “It means merciful. Right? Clemency?”
She says, “It hardly fits. I’m vindictive, truth be told.”
Clementine has to be one of the most interesting characters on film. She describes herself as an “out of sorts”, “sorta nutso” gal, but gets anxious when she’s thinking she’s not living her life to the fullest, taking advantage of every possibility, making sure she’s not wasting one second of the little time she has—at least, that’s what she says.
Joel’s never met anyone like her. He’s taken a shine to her.
On Valentine’s Day, the day they meet the first time, he spends the evening with her, talking with her at her apartment. When he gets home, he couldn’t wait to call her. The first thing out of her mouth is, “Miss me?” He says yes, and she laughs. She actually tells him she will marry him. That’s the first day.
Clementine does what we can only imagine. She treads on thin ice and wonders why we can’t do the same. She’s a bucketful of energy, a firecracker and she has a way about her that someone can only describe as odd. But in all this, in her weird and eccentric ways, Clementine enjoys life and doesn’t mind showing it to everyone around her.
What does Joel see in Clementine? He can’t place his finger on it. He knows there’s something about her—
She’s unique. Different. And it’s that uniqueness that makes her someone to get to know outside the funny look she has to her hair. She makes him imagine of a world beyond himself. A world open to new ideas and thoughts.
Clementine may be strange, but she’s whom we want to become. Children discovering new things each and every day of our lives.
Have you seen the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? What did you think of Clementine?