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I Am Sam (2001)

 -  Drama  -  25 January 2002 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 107,127 users   Metascore: 28/100
Reviews: 424 user | 129 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A mentally retarded 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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Brad Silverman ...
Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg ...
Joe
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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:

£151,079 (UK) (10 May 2002)

Gross:

£456,635 (UK) (24 May 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shailene Woodley auditioned for a role but lost out to Dakota Fanning. See more »

Goofs

When Annie is teaching Sam when to feed Lucy and they are talking about what "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is about, Annie says "But John Lennon said, it was about a friend of his son Julian Lennon's from school - Lucy O'Connell". The real girl's name was "Lucy O'Donnell". See more »

Quotes

Rita: Now, Ms. Cossell, in all the time that you've known them, have you ever questioned Sam's ability as a father?
Annie: Never.
Rita: Never?
Annie: Never. Look at Lucy. She's strong. She displays true empathy for people, all kinds of people. I know that you all think she's as smart as she is despite him, but it's because of him.
Rita: So what you're saying is you don't worry about Lucy's future?
Annie: No, I do.
Rita: Ah...
Annie: I worry all the time. I worry if they take Lucy away from her father they will take away an enormous piece of her,...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jennifer Garner/Beck (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Across the Universe
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright appears courtesy of Dreamworks Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Effective Performance By Sean Penn
25 November 2002 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I have to confess off the top that I am not and never have been a particular fan of Sean Penn. I have no specific criticism to make of him; as an actor he simply doesn't appeal to me. Because of that bias I approached this movie with low expectations. The story of a mentally handicapped man fighting for custody of his seven year old daughter sounded intriguing, but it starred Penn. But what a pleasant surprise this movie turned out to be!

Penn is actually very good in this role. He brings a realism to the character of Sam Dawson, and portrays him sensitively and with real emotion. In fact, I thought the only performance that was better than Penn's came not from Michelle Pfeiffer (who disappointed me a bit, actually) but rather from little Dakota Fanning as Sam's daughter Lucy. She seemed so natural in this role, and I would hope that we see more of her in the years to come. Pfeiffer, on the other hand, (as Sam's lawyer Rita Harrison) just didn't carry the role off that well, and even the courtroom scenes to me lacked the tension one would have expected from such an emotionally-laden issue.

The movie weakens in the last little bit, going for the sappy (and highly unrealistic) ending - unrealistic particularly in the way Lucy's foster mother (Laura Dern) ends up handling the situation.

Having said that, I still enjoyed this movie very much. It's raised my assessment of Sean Penn's acting abilities and I would recommend it to others and would watch it again.

7/10


26 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did Sam and Rita sleep together?? charlieinred
Is Turner Evil or just doing his job? henrik-sjoman
Court appointed psychologist ohmypotter
I didn't get the end. bluebottlebe
It's called acting azianboylover
How does a seven year old know how to even create a child? movie_gurl_06
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