Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Majestic

Last night was very similar to any other Wednesday night in our house. My husband came home from work, we had dinner and told each other about our day, talked some more, and then cuddled down together on the side of the couch with the chaise arm, and flipped through netflix (we've never owned cable) on the TV. Then we proceed to go through the "what do you want to watch?" "well, what do you want to watch?" "I want to watch whatever you want to watch"... you know, the bantering of both people faking indifference although they both have a preference, and if you're married you know full well what their preference is but you're really not in the mood for it tonight ("maybe another night?" = "I hate that genre just as much as I did yesterday, and I'll hate it just as much tomorrow."). If I had my way it'd be documentaries every night, and if he had his, it'd be a marathon of alternating Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone. (Could the east be further from the west?) So we both beat around the bush and somehow this comes to a compromise. Last night it was "The Majestic".

This 2001 film stars Jim Carrey (previously one of my least favorite actors of all time, but keep an open mind--it's nothing like anything he's ever done before or since) and is set in 1951. When I saw Carrey's name in the list of actors I didn't have high expectations, as he is known for playing crude comedic roles among less intellectual genres. However I'm glad I gave it a try because although I didn't know it at the time, the movie shares its director with The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, which are both blockbusters in my book, however The Majestic is the quality without the swearing or sexuality. This movie has a few humorous parts, but mostly it is a gripping, intense tear-jerker, with moments of suspense, but even more moments of meaning. And if you love the World War II era you will enjoy this movie for the setting alone! It's set between 1950s Hollywood and a small picturesque town with 50s diners and barber shops, quintessential-type of feel. (My husband and I love most everything about that decade and it is our opinion that we are existing during the wrong period of time entirely, but that is another story. Insert longing sigh here.) At first you may be wondering "why did she recommend this on veteran's day?.." but it all comes together in the end. Because it has one of those powerful endings that makes you cry, makes you think, makes you proud to be an American, makes you want to go out and better the world, you know the type of ending. My favorite. What I think makes a great movie is when something isn't spoken but a look on the actor's face makes the enthralled viewer gasp with understanding and say "ohhhh!" It had a lot of those.

It's definitely my new favorite movie. And if you want to do something small for veteran's day, or you already did something big but you want to end it with I don't know say a great Jim Carrey movie, I strongly recommend you watch this. And if you have Netflix, it's at your fingertips because it's available for instant play.

Watching a movie is the least we can do in exchange for the fact that America would not be unlike any other country were it not for the commitment and bravery of our veterans. We can't thank all the veterans that died in the service--some of which don't even have marked graves--but if we at least remember them, or enact on what is implored in this film, well I think that's all they would've asked for.

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