Movie & Menu: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

While today is all about your bestie, tomorrow you’ll have trouble avoiding all the pink and red hearts.

I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day. I’m actually a hopeless romantic, but I think love is complicated. It’s full of messy emotions and memories. It makes you the best person and sometimes the worst person.

There are dozens of amazing romantic movies. I think, by far, one of the greatest is Casablanca (which I’ve written about before). When considering what romance film to write about this week, I was drawn to one I frequently revisit: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I first saw this movie while in college. I remember being blown away by the opening scenes – it is bold and unique. I remember being immediately curious about how the rest of the story would reveal itself. Many viewings later – knowing how it unfolds – I’m still memorized by it. There are many quotable lines from the film. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet shine as Joel and Clementine. Eternal Sunshine is the work of two brilliant people (director Michele Gondry and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman) coming together to make something purely magical. This kind of film is rare and something to cherish.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

It is a story of intimacy and love entangled in our memories. Love so powerful that choosing to erase someone and escape the pain of being without them is a better option. That choice creates a peculiar void and deep down something seems off. This film beautifully shows how love is messy and not perfect. How our heart beats faster with each memory of a shared intimate moment. Many romance films show moments of passion and heartbreak, but Eternal Sunshine goes deeper than that. It encourages us to share all of our messy feelings with the person we love: the fear, the sadness, the frustration, the anger, the joy and the laughter. And, in one of my favorite exchanges in the film, reminding us to enjoy it.

I recommend getting some Asian take-out and settling in for the night. Whether or not you’re with the one you love, enjoy those precious memories of romance.

What are some of your favorite romance movies? What scenes from Eternal Sunshine stick with you the most? Would you erase someone from you mind if you could?

Watch Enternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
on Netflix, Amazon or iTunes

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Movie & Menu: Clueless (1995)

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday I’ve often overlooked because, this time of year, I’m trying to stay alive and in one piece. In the past I typically had no one to “celebrate” the day with so I focused on my work and ate some chocolate like any other night. My mind is going in all these other places during February and it’s all I can do to stay focused on my work and all the decisions I need to make. This “holiday was made by greeting cards” and “love should be shared every day” mentality..that was me.

Then a few years ago I fell in love (yes, crazy gooey love that I didn’t think was actually possible) and Valentine’s Day became just another day, but now I felt like I needed to “do” something. Equal parts fun and exhausting (again, lots of work happening!). I’ve only gone out of my way once with a fun Valentine’s gift (check back later for details). Other than that, E usually gets a small treat and extra flirting from me that day. We don’t do a gift exchange. Maybe we get each other a card. Maybe. I’m a romantic deep down, but I don’t like a spotlight on my love. Certainly not just for ONE day. I love big and love hard. There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in it. It has to be spread out.

All that to say, I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan, but I am a Galentine’s Day fan.

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Parks and Rec

My gals have been there for a lot of ups and downs. We don’t always talk regularly, but I know I can text or call them at any time and they’ll be there for me to cry on the phone or lift me up with encouragement. That’s something worth celebrating.

In the spirit of Galentine’s Day, I’m highlighting a film that’s truly close to my heart. A film I can watch over and over and over again with my girls, quoting all the lines we know by heart.

Of course, I’m talking about Clueless.

Judge if you like, but this story of friendship and love is one of my favorite films ever. (I’m sure it will appear on this blog again in the future.) Cher may seem superficial on the surface, but you have to dig a little deeper with her. She’s a true friend, genuine and thoughtful.

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Clueless (1995)

Make a date with your best gal, whip up some Chocolate Cake Mix Waffles and spend an evening with Cher and her friends. Sounds like a perfect Galentine’s Day to me!

Are you a big Valentine’s Day fan? If so, what are your plans? If not, what’s your pick for a Galentine’s movie night? Curious to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Chocolate Cake Mix Waffles
from DessertForTwo.com

Yields 4 waffles

1 1/4 cup dry chocolate cake mix
1 large egg
2 tablespoon neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
ice cream, for serving

Blackberry sauce:
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons crème de cassis (black currant liquor), optional

  1. Preheat a waffle iron to the highest setting.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake mix, egg, oil, water and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop batter into waffle iron (i have a Belgium waffle iron that holds 1/2 cup batter per waffle; I made 4 waffles from this recipe).
  4. Cook the waffles until done.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine the blackberries with the sugar and a splash of water. Simmer until the blackberries collapse into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème de cassis, if using.
  6. Scoop ice cream over each waffle and top with blackberry sauce.

Watch the films mentioned in this post:
Clueless on iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.