Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind plot (spoilers)

Was it a goof, or did I miss something? Read on…

Jim Carrey’s character (Joel) has second thoughts in the middle of his mind erasure and spends the rest of the night trying to keep a memory of Kate Winslett’s character (Clementine). Ultimately, his mind’s apparition of Clementine tells him to “remember Montauk”. This succeeds, because the next morning, his subconscious diverts him from work and onto the train to Montauk, were he re-meets Clementine.

My question is, what sends Clementine to Montauk that morning?

Perhaps the same thing as led Joel ;).

… to go further, perhaps it didn’t manifest itself immediately (we see Clementine getting more uneasy afterwards) and it was coincidence they went at the same time.

Although it seems like possibly “divine” intervention, I think the point is that they were eventually going to find each other sometime in life anyway.

Somebody actually asked this question here months ago when the movie came out. I hadn’t seen it at the time so I didn’t have an answer. Now I’ve seen it and I still don’t…beyond what ISiddiqui said. It didn’t have anyting to do with his memory of her telling him to meet there…it was just that wanted to hold on to the same memories that he did and so (independently) was drawn to the same place as he was.

Well, I’m not convinced - it seems like a plot hole. Consider this: their first meeting after her erasure is in the bookstore and she is totally aloof, unresponsive to him. But she is all over him when she is on the train.

Joel spends 45 minutes in the centerpiece of the movie fighting the erasures and then setting up the re-meeting, but for Clementine rely on a coincidence… Pretty slapdash approach to the central plot.

Pretty much. Basically the point is that attraction or love or whatever is more than the sum of their memories. We see the same thing with Kirsten Dunst and her boss. Even though he erased her memories, she still kept falling for him.

I think it’s reasonable to assume that Clementine went through a similar experience of trying to fight the erasures, but also “failed”, except that, in her experience, it was Joel who told her to meet her in Montauk. Didn’t she say something to the effect that she’d been going there several days in a row? So she kept revisiting the place without knowing why–which meant that her running into Joel was less coincidence and more inevitable.

I always took it to mean that there is a very real psychic connection between the two because they are so much in love. It wasn’t that subconsciously he had her tell him, but that subconsciously she actually did tell him and it was planted in both their brains because they are so connected.

Remember she had the mind wipe as well and the Elija Wood character was using the stuff from Joel to try and seduce her. This freaked her out a bit and made her question her reality. I feel the mind wipe isn’t perfect. If you choose to ignore the hole in your memory it would work but if you start examining it you remember that you used to remember something.

Since they first meet at Montauk that is where she goes. They both go through the relationship backwards, from the ugly breakup to that day on Montauk.

What’s the difference, then, between a plot hole and something deliberately left unexplained? I’d guess that Kaufman and Gondry want to suggest that Joel and Clementine are connected on a level beyond logic or scientific intervention, and that it’s not important to them to explain how exactly that connection works.

Just wanted to add that according to legend, the original ending was a flash forward to them as old folks and the revelation that they had been going though this cycle of relationship/mind wipe/remeeting for years and years.