Now neither one of these films will have the "best feel-good splendor ever" (soon to be Pete Hammond's credit on the DVD box) of Valentine's Day coming out this weekend, but they are in fact warmer and thought-provoking so stay in with your loved one and give these two a watch.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has been gushed about quite a bit the past few months and if you have not seen this film yet do so immediately. Joel (Jim Carrey) is stuck in life and after breaking up with his girlfriend he can't bear to be with his own memories. So he decides to have her erased from his mind. But what happens after is perhaps the most warming sentiment on film. There is something about Clementine (Kate Winslet) that both makes you rue and ache for your failed past relationships.
I saw Lars and the Real Girl during my winter break and never got around to writing about it. It makes much more sense to post it now anyway. Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a shut-in living in the garage of his older brother Gus (Paul Schneider, how has this guy not been given a movie by now?) and his wife Karin (Emily Mortimer). He doesn't talk much or at all after the death of his father except to tell the co-worker he shares his cubicle with, "that he got coffee last time." He has an admirer in Margo (Kelli Garner) but Lars in content with going to work, nodding hello and going about his business as if you were not there.
For the most part no one really pays attention to Lars until he purchases a sex doll - don't worry there is nothing but the best intentions for that doll - dresses it up in Karin's clothing and parades it around church, dinners, parties and around town. Gus who already thought his brother was nuts pleads with Dr. Dagmar (Patricia Clarkson) to fix him as quickly as possible. Lars and the Real Girl had a premise that could've been exploited very easily into a formulaic rom-com, but the interest in the story comes not from Lar's romantic opportunities but the town that embraces its own. A modern Capra film if there ever was one.