Amnesia the Beautiful

Why is Hollywood so obsessed with forgetfulness? It's the national delusion

Man walks into doctor's office. Doctor says, I've got terrible news for you: you're suffering from terminal cancer. Also, you have amnesia. Man says, Hey, at least I don't have cancer!

Amnesia is one of those rare mental conditions--like narcissism--that it's O.K. to make fun of. Maybe that's why it's such a favorite among screenwriters: since Christmas, we have had no fewer than three movies that revolve around people misplacing their memories. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet pay to have the memory of their lousy relationship erased. Paycheck was a sci-fi thriller about a...

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