7.6/10
130,104
446 user 128 critic

I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 January 2002 (USA)
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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2,727 ( 259)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo soy Sam  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,418, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$40,311,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$97,818,139
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Fanning's character is named Lucy Diamond from The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Michelle Pfeiffer's character's name is Rita Harrison, from the song "Lovely Rita," and the last name of Beatles member George Harrison. Sam, Lucy, and Sam's friends walking across the street with the balloons is a tribute to the case cover of "Abbey Road." Sean Penn wanted the soundtrack to be all Beatles music but was unable to get the rights, so he asked various artists to cover the Beatles songs he wanted to use. And in order for the re-recorded music to fit into the movie, each of the artists had to use the same tempo as the original Beatles songs. See more »

Goofs

When Sam and Lucy are being observed and they are talking, just before Lucy talks to the people observing her she turns her head towards the "camera". The next shot, she turns her head again before talking. See more »

Quotes

Sam: You're going a little faster than everybody else. I was wondering if you noticed that.
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Connections

Referenced in Tropic Thunder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Blackbird
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan appears courtesy of Arista Records
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User Reviews

 
Powerful film!
10 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

I haven't been a fan of Sean Penn's since Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Since that time, nearly all his films have left me flat. In fact, I nearly didn't watch this film since he was in it. What a loss it would have been if I'd missed it! I won't go into the story line since that's been reviewed a lot by others. The story is sort of a cliché'd one and has been done before, though not as well. The story isn't this film's strength anyway - it's the acting. Rarely have I seen a film with this much powerful acting. Penn's performance as Sam is brilliant! He must have studied autistic/mentally challenged people to pull this performance off. I also want to mention how good Michele Pfeiffer was in this. Her character starts out as a hard-hearted witch and ends up being very human, thanks to her exposure to Sam. The change in her is gradual, subtle and fun to watch. Sams friends, very well played by Brad Silverman, Joseph Rosenberg, Stanley DeSantis and Doug Hutchinson are very important support characters. Laura Dern gives a stellar performance as Randy. Dakota Fanning as Lucy very nearly steals the show. This little actress has quite a career ahead of her, I hope! This film is delicately balanced, and has a good bit of humor interspersed with parts that will have even the most insensitive of you reaching for a tissue. The film has a sort of a sappy (and somewhat surprising) outcome, but by this time any other ending would have been pretty much unacceptable to most people. This movie blew me away and I gave it a 9.


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