Jim Carrey has had a tough time of it lately. His weirdly over the top performance in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” failed to find magic and his sequel to 2010’s action-comedy “Kick-Ass” underperformed at the box office. In addition, his recent comments to the press have turned off a lot of people. However, back in 2001 he did his best work in his best film which also unfortunately never really found an audience. If you’ve seen “The Majestic,” it gets even better seeing it again. If you have not, this is one any movie fan should grab on DVD.
Carrey stars as Peter Appleton, a 1950’s screenwriter who finds himself named a Communist and blacklisted over a girl he once knew. After a car wreck on a bridge, Peter washes ashore outside a quaint town straight out of a Frank Capra picture. He suffers amnesia and is believed by the townspeople to be a missing World War II hero come home. Romance, comedy, drama and courtroom fireworks ensue in this charming and vastly entertaining tale.
However, the real heart and soul of the movie is its loving look at the beauty, joy and power of motion pictures and the grand palaces that once screened them. Martin Landau gives an instantly endearing performance as Harry Trimble, the father of the missing war hero. Harry also happens to own The Majestic, the town’s faded movie theatre. He and Peter set about to restore it to its former glory and bring a little magic back to the lives of the townsfolk.
“The Majestic” gives us Carrey in the mold of an old fashioned movie star and he plays it with charm, warmth and likeability without utilizing any of the loud, rubbery faced antics that first established him. It’s a crowning achievement in a rewarding must-see movie. You’ll pull for him from start to finish and find yourself entranced with this nostalgic portrait of small town Americana.
Look for it on DVD at your Roanoke Valley Public Library.