Take the town depicted in The Truman Show, set it in 1951, and you'll have The Majestic's Lawson, California. Blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Pete (Jim Carrey) washes up on Lawson's shores after a car crash leaves him with amnesia. The nostalgia-soaked local residents still lament their WWII dead. They quickly convince themselves that Pete is an M.I.A. war hero named Luke, son of the local theater owner (Martin Landau). Confused as he is, Pete doesn't mind bringing hope to Lawson, and he gladly takes up with Luke's patient girlfriend (Laurie Holden). Pete and his “father” work to reopen The Majestic Theater as FBI agents track down the suspected Communist.
The Majestic is teflon-coated. Carrey underplays the dramatic role only to discover that without his rubbery tasteless humor the performance seems bland. Darabont's sappy nostalgia seriously hinders the movie, which seems blissfully unaware of its reliance on 1950s small-town stereotypes.