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I Am Sam
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I Am Sam More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Love is not all you need

7/10
Author: Willie-12 from United States
19 November 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*possible spoilers* I have a few complaints about this film, and yet I actually somewhat enjoyed it. The acting was very good, especially Sean Penn's performance as a mentally challenged man fighting to keep custody of his daughter. First of all, for the past five years I have worked closely with mentally disabled individuals, and although some of them are very kind, and have a loving nature, I've yet to come across one that would be capable of taking on the responsibility of raising a child. I can also assure you that in real life, the attempt to take the child out of the home by social services would have occurred long before the child ever reached her fifth birthday. So while I think the outcome of the movie was what I consider to be not realistic, I still liked the ending, the way I have enjoyed many endings to films that I consider to be fiction. I also thought the film had some problems from a technical standpoint. Why this filming style was adopted for this type of movie is beyond me. Normal camera angles, with a nice dramatic symphony score would have been much more pleasing to the eyes and ears. The music that was ultimately chosen for this movie was so out of place at times (and I usually love The Beatles) that it became very annoying. Even with all of these problems, I still managed to somewhat enjoy the movie because of a pretty decent script, and some very good acting. But as always, that's just my opinion.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Who was not watching this movie...

10/10
Author: David from Jacksonville, Fla
16 November 2002

when they gave the Oscar to Denzel? Granted, Denzel is an excellent actor, but man was Sean Penn robbed! Despite a few plot flaws, and the liberal slant (so I'm conservative...part of that "right-winged" conspiracy), this movie is a great watch. I am on the verge of being a parent and the movie allows insight to the struggle we take for granted when it comes to parenthood. Seeing it thru the life of Sam made it all the more challenging. I loved this movie and watch it often (own it on DVD), referring it to others who ask me if I have watched a good movie lately. Granted, it is not for everyone, one does have to think about the issues and there is some deciphering of the story. I'm personally glad this movie was made and just as happy for its critical success. Did Sean get any hardware for his performance?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I am Sam, great man of our decade

Author: daniel (landypice) from Alma, Quebec
21 October 2002

Do you ever known a man as patient as Sam? In any case, if you have seen Forest Gump and loved it you will surely love this new dramatic movie from U.S.A. with Sean Penn.

We can't compare I am Sam with Forest Gump because of the movie's structure but the situation of Sam is the same than forest and for is patient, just see the movie you will understand. Sam is a less mental man who become father of a little girl almost by accident, He begins to take care of her with a real skill. However, some people of the society don't think he can do this job as he does and try to withdraw Lucy of his hands. So just imagine how the rest of story is. I am Sam, put on in feature Sean Penn, Michelle pfeiffer and Dakota Fanning making a very good movie with a good French version too and show up the truth of how handicaped poeple live.I think you get to see it and for my own I have appreciated it very much.

Thank you for your reading...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I Am Sam was a "Magical Mystery Tour" of unconditional love, an exercise in patience, listening, and the importance of family, friendships, and FATHERS to their chidren.

Author: Michael Rockett (wisconsin_dad@yahoo.com) from Oconomowoc, WI
12 October 2002

The writing, casting, production, direction and score were all superb! Furthermore, I have never considered Mrs. Pfeifer a strong actress until now. This was her best work yet and I look forward to seeing her in more projects like this.

Hats off to Mr.Sean Penn who once again demonstrated he is "the man!" This performance was strong like "Falcon and The Snowman" and "At Close Range." Sean, gets better and better with age.

The soundtrack, all Beatle covers, including Ben Harber, Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), and Sarah McLachlan was simply sugar on top for me.

The movie tackled many common issues, such as cognitive disabilities, marriage, balancing work and family-friends. There's something for everyone and I'll tell you a secret men..It's OK to cry.

Go see this one with your loved one(s)and cleanse those tear ducts!! I give this movie a 10 for all around excellence.

I also recommend these soulful movies: Magnolia, Jerry McGuire, Field of Dreams, Steel Magnolias and Terms of Endearment

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Its a crime not to watch this movie!

10/10
Author: Mamady from England
7 September 2002

This has got to be one of the best films ever made. The acting is superb, nothing like it... its just such a beautiful film. I wish i could rate it 99 out of 10, because it really does deserve it. Do yourself a favour and go watch this movie!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

VERY worthwhile entertainment

9/10
Author: simmons-4 from United States
4 August 2002

This was both tough to watch and hugely entertaining. Don't want to watch this if you are depressed, but if you stick with it, it is very uplifting. The performances by the 3 leads were just wonderful, and the supporting cast and filming amplified the scenes very well. This is one of the very best movies I've ever watched. Even the deleted scenes were great (on the dvd, of course).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

an emotional powerhouse!

Author: juanrojas from miami, florida
2 August 2002

I first wanted to see this film when it first came out in January. It looked interesting and sean penn's character also drew me. I didn't get to see until this week. It is August and I want to say it was worth the wait. This movie was brilliant. From the opening sequence to the closing it grabbed my attention.

What makes this a great film is the story and Sean Penn's and Michelle Pffiefers performances. You believe Sean Penn really is autistic and has a disability. You care for him because he shows the audience his frustration and confusion of living in a world so complex and having the intelligence of a 7 year old. He struggles to raise his daughter and to succeed at his job at starbucks. Michelle Pffiefers character is also incredible. She is a lawyer with a seemingly perfect life and wonderful career,but beneath the surface there is the pain and frustration to keep her marriage afloat and win the affection of her son. She too learns to cope, while helping Sean's character along the way.

I am sorry if I gave too much away but I need to express myself in detail. By the way, Dakota Fanning, who plays the daughter is brilliant as well. Look out because she can be the next kid star. My advice for everyone who has a heart of has children is too see this film. It will touch you.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Today's mid-day movie is...

Author: Billy_Tallent from Mars, Australia
18 June 2002



Pinch me, but I really thought I was watching the made-for-TV mid-day special here...

I have no problems with the acting - easily the best aspect of the movie, although Sean Penn wasn't doing anything more than anyone else, despite indications you might have received that he was giving an Oscar-worthy performance. Then again, given that they automatically give Oscars to actors who play retarded people, autistic people, AIDs patients, etc, then I guess it's simply the fact that Penn is playing a retarded person that makes his performance so worthy, right? [No, I'm sure not everyone is that dumb] Pfeiffer, IMO, pulls off a better acting performance, given her character is not written to be very likeable.

The trouble with movies like this is that they appear to have a good heart, but Hollywood and Company are so clearly afraid that their audience is stupid that any genuine, original, memorable potential in a movie is sucked out. Particularly when it involves those who are considered 'not normal' (quote from movie). They give you the movie title in little letters 'i am sam', they show how orderly and likeable Sam is with the customers, then there's the heart-wrenching scenes of how Sam is left with the baby, and how, like any father in such a situation, he has no idea what to do. This is just in the first five minutes. Sam's just like you and me, isn't he?

But there's something missing, which makes the premise of the entire movie hollow. The first meaty scenes we're given of how Sam reacts in the real world not only give rise to severe doubts that Sam has a case for raising his child, but make one wonder how Sam could possibly have raised this child without coming to the attention of any authorities for seven whole years. That's a large credibility gap.

There was also a credibility gap with Rita's transformation - Hollywood conventions mean we know right from the start she will have one, but we are only told of it, rather than shown any evidence. Rita, in actions, does not change one bit that I saw. In particular we needed to see far more of her interactions with Willie.

It was a nice touch that the foster mom was played as human rather than as a bitch, which brings to mind another thing I was concerned with. Was it really necessary that every single female character in this shed such copious quantities of tears? I think the social worker was the only one saved from involuntary dehydration.

I was also disappointed that, despite Sam's clear obsession with the original Beatles, most, if not all, of the soundtrack was only cover-versions of Beatles songs.

Overall, a lot of good effort put in by the actors, gone to waste by a forgettable story.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

3.5 stars

8/10
Author: Mike Weston (mweston) from Silicon Valley
5 April 2002

Sam Dawson, played by Sean Penn, is mentally retarded. As the film opens we see him working very diligently and effectively at Starbuck's, organizing the sweeteners, busing the tables, and delivering the coffees. He complements everyone on having made "an excellent choice." Then he is reminded that today is the big day and that he needs to go to the hospital, where his daughter is born. When the mother runs away, he is left with the baby, who he names Lucy. While he is overwhelmed with the task of raising a daughter (which we see by the camera swirling around him to show his confusion), he gets some help from a neighbor (played very well by Dianne Wiest in a small role) and manages to raise her. The film goes through these early years quite quickly to get to the heart of the story, which is when Lucy begins to surpass her father's intelligence. The authorities decide that perhaps Sam is not such a good father after all, and he is forced to fight to keep her. He doesn't really understand what's going on, but manages through luck and determination to get a lawyer, played by Michelle Pfeiffer. This part of the film, which needed to be edited a little more aggressively, becomes a bit too manipulative and "movie of the week" for what would normally be my taste, but it is done so well that it worked for me, and I didn't mind.

Penn's acting is amazing, with only one brief moment when I saw his intelligence flash out from behind his character. You really can't appreciate what he does here from watching the clips or the movie trailer. Dakota Fanning, who plays Lucy, is also quite good most of the time, especially considering her age (7 in 2001). Pfeiffer is acceptable most of the time, but is obviously acting (or attempting to) in her biggest scene. I'll also mention that Brent Spiner has a very short part in one early scene (so small I expected him to be uncredited, but he is listed), and Laura Dern does good work when she appears later in the film.

And lastly, I should say that the soundtrack is made up of remakes of Beatles songs, which also fits into the story because Sam falls back on the lyrics of Beatles songs when he doesn't know what else to to (like when he names his daughter after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"). Surprisingly, I do not believe that "All You Need is Love" is used, because that would perhaps summarize the message of the movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

really sad, but very good acting and plot

10/10
Author: princesadeamor15 (princesadeamor15@yahoo.com) from michigan
16 March 2002

this movie was interesting and riveting every step of the way, the little girl is a really good actress, she is really talented, if she stays in the business she'll do really well. this movie made me cry, in more places than one, i especially liked the part when she yelled through the one way mirror and said "did u hear that? i said i dont want any other daddy but him, why dont u write that down?!"

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