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 <email@example.com>
Michelle Pfeiffer took on the female lead because she was friends with the film's writer and director, Jessie Nelson, who had co-written the screenplay to the actress' earlier film, The Story of Us (1999), and because she wanted the chance to work with Sean Penn. See more »
In the first courtroom scene, the judge asks to see Sam back in court on January 5th, supposedly a month after that day. However, the board of cases for the day says the date is August 20th. See more »
Now, Ms. Cossell, in all the time that you've known them, have you ever questioned Sam's ability as a father?
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.
So what you're saying is you don't worry about Lucy's future?
No, I do.
I worry all the time. I worry if they take Lucy away from her father they will take away an enormous piece of her,...
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In 'Rain Man', Dustin Hoffman gave the best portrayal I have ever seen of a mentally disturbed person, but Sean Penn came very close here. He was quite convincing but somewhat funnier. With Hoffman, I never quite knew when he was supposed to be funny, but with Penn there were many funny moments that I felt okay about laughing at. And I just had to like the character.
I've heard so many good things about Dakota Fanning, and now I see for myself. She's great.
The actors playing Sam's friends also seemed very convincing, one in particular. I didn't catch his name, but he wore glasses and I think he must have really been mentally disabled. The others could have been but might just have been acting.
MIchelle Pfeiffer was very good also, and gorgeous. And Richard Schiff was likable as the lawyer on the other side of Sam's case. In fact, I didn't see those who were against Sam as evil. They just had Lucy's best interests in mind. But I wanted Sam to win.
While it is true this may have been done before, I think this movie offered unique twists and qualities other movies didn't have, and the performances were very good.
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