Comedian Jim Carrey takes on a relatively serious role as Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton in this family-oriented fiction set in the early 1950s. Just as Peter sees his career beginning to take off, he gets notice to appear before the Congressional Committee on un-American Activities led by Senator Joe McCarthy. With implications of being Communist, Pete quickly sees his dreams fade away. But after a late night car accident, Pete wakes up on the outskirts of Lawson, California and can’t remember anything. Harry (Martin Landau), owner of the town’s run-down theater, recognizes Pete as his son Luke, thought lost during World War II. Lawson lost 62 of its young men in the war and with the war dead, the town lost hope for the future, reflected in the neglected Majestic. Believing Pete is Luke, finally returning from the war, restores the town’s hope. In turn, the town helps restore the movie palace to its former glory. But when both his memory and the law catch up to Pete, will the town’s dreams fade again? Although it rides an emotional rollercoaster, audiences will cheer this inspiring and patriotic story reminiscent of Frank Capra’s films.
Martin Landau’s performance is especially touching as a father suddenly given his son back. Major themes of rekindled hope, restoring broken lives and reminders of American ideals shine through this refreshingly wholesome film. Unfortunately, the dialogue includes several obscenities and a number of strong profanities. Without the vulgar language, THE MAJESTIC could be recommended for ages 10 and up.