'A Man Named Pearl' will give audiences a good feeling
Here's a challenge for moviegoers who want their film time to be feel-good time. You will find a feel-good time with "A man named Pearl." I'll get to the challenge in a bit.
There's this guy named Pearl. Yep, that's his given name. Pearl's in his mid-60s, a strapping guy, appealing to watch. He speaks his mind in a deep sonorous voice with a wise Carolina twang. He speaks and lives "peace, love and goodwill," a message that is literally written on his property.
Pearl Fryar is a church-going man, a pillar of his community.
This man came a long way to become far more of a pillar than anyone might readily allow. He did it through long, hard work and the opposite of ambition. He was a sharecropper's son. He carried the work ethic he saw in his daddy into decades of unassuming employment in a can factory.
Very much his own man, Pearl applied his work ethic outside his paid employment in what could only be labeled an obsession. Yet Pearl is so well grounded - literally and spiritually - that this obsession spread from individual expression to public asset.
Pearl trims trees, shapes bushes and mows lawn. He's a patient, visionary artist with a hedge clipper. He's Edward Scissorhands without the science fiction.
Not incidentally, Pearl's wife holds her own in down-home wisdom and charm, but she knows it's not about her.
Here's the challenge. "A Man Named Pearl" is a plain documentary that struggles harmlessly enough to build a feature film around a treasure of a guy. You'll always want to get back from the testimonials to the man. You'll nod your head acceptingly enough at the small town trying to build an economy around him.
If you want to go to an independent, community-minded movie house to feel good about an independent, community-minded man, you will enjoy "A man named Pearl," showing at the Nevada Theatre, 7:30, Sunday, Oct. 5.