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Ever wish you could just forget the last person who broke your heart? No, you don’t. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman offers his usual blend of absurdity and existentialism in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a love/hate story about a pair of exes so jaded that they try to erase each other from their respective memories by undergoing a novel medical procedure. But when the introverted Joel (Jim Carrey) decides that the memories of his relationship with the mercurial Clementine (Kate Winslet) are worth keeping, the two of them embark on a game of hide-and-seek through his subconscious—an amorphous maze designed by the brilliant visual stylist Michel Gondry. “I’m just a fucked-up girl looking for her own peace of mind,” Clementine tells Joel, and this is true of her co-stars as well, romantic strivers all. But as Kaufman demonstrates, peace-of-mind is something neither love nor medicine can promise—at least not without serious side effects.
THE FILM PLAYS MONDAY, FEB. 16, AND TUESDAY, FEB. 17, AT THE AFI SILVER THEATER AND CULTURAL CENTER, 924 ELLSWORTH DRIVE, SILVER SPRING. $6–$10. (301)495-6720.