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I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  25 January 2002 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 115,145 users   Metascore: 28/100
Reviews: 431 user | 128 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

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Title: I Am Sam (2001)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Brad Silverman ...
Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg ...
Joe
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...
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Lily
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Judge Philip McNeily
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Miss Wright
Mason Lucero ...
Conner Rhodes
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Storyline

Sam Dawson has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. He works at a Starbucks and is obsessed with the Beatles. He has a daughter with a homeless woman; she abandons them as soon as they leave the hospital. He names his daughter Lucy Diamond (after the Beatles song), and raises her. But as she reaches age 7 herself, Sam's limitations start to become a problem at school; she's intentionally holding back to avoid looking smarter than him. The authorities take her away, and Sam shames high-priced lawyer Rita Harrison into taking his case pro bono. In the process, he teaches her a great deal about love, and whether it's really all you need. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

love is all you need

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo soy Sam  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,993 (USA) (4 January 2002)

Gross:

£456,635 (UK) (24 May 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Fanning has a disabled aunt in real life. See more »

Goofs

In the very beginning shot, when Sam is sorting sugar packets in the holders, he puts the brown "raw sugar" packets in front. When he is shown setting the holders on the tables, the brown packets are in the middle. See more »

Quotes

Rita: You think you've got the market cornered on human suffering? Let me tell you something about people like me. People like me feel lost, and little, and ugly, and dispensable. People like me have husbands, screwing other people far more perfect than me. People like me have sons who hate them. And I've screamed, I've screamed horrible things at him, at a 7 year old because he doesn't want to get in the car at the end of the day! And then he looks at me with such anger and I hate him then! I know ...
See more »

Connections

References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Golden Slumbers
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Ben Folds
Ben Folds appears courtesy of Epic Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mentally challenged single dad fights to care for daughter
1 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sean Penn as a devoted father (Sam) who despite mental challenges, fights for the right to raise his child is convincing in a complete departure from his usual "bad guy" characters. Michelle Pfeiffer plays his reluctant "pro bono" elite lawyer, who eventually puts 110% into this case.

The love between Sam and his 7 year old daughter is evident in many sweet scenes (got Kleenex?), best described by a reclusive neighbor (wonderfully played by Dianne Wiest), who overcomes her hermit-like condition long enough to testify in Sam's behalf. Even the social workers who insisted on doing everything to "help the child" appear to be fighting emotions over this unusual case. The "support system", which includes several equally challenged "buddies", a very supportive employer, and many other people in the community gives evidence of our changing society, fostering inclusion and tolerance. Eventually even the prospective adoptive parents of Sam's daughter can't go on fighting against this exemplary father.

The girl playing Sam's daughter appears to be "gifted", at age 7 reading middle school material. Perhaps the "difference" between father & daughter's intelligence did not have to be in such an obvious extreme. The implication of a romantic involvement between Sam and his lawyer could have been avoided as well. The former is stretching it, but the latter is going too far. One can suspend her/his disbelief only so much! Since there are no "perfect" movies, I still consider this one pretty darn close! Highly recommended.


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