I Am Sam (2001) Poster



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.
Dakota Fanning's little sister, Elle Fanning, played her character at age 3.
Many lines or actions by Sean Penn's character, Sam, were improvised, such as the end of the scene at the new restaurant where Sam shouts, "Ask Big Bob!" or the dog scene. The producers liked many of these improvised scenes much better than the original book.
Michelle Pfeiffer later admitted in interviews that making this film helped her get over a previous apprehension and fear she never knew she had toward mentally challenged individuals.
At the foster parents home, even though a perfectly good bed is available to Lucy, she sleeps in a hammock in the corner of her room, much like the crib her father (Sam) made for her.
As preparation for his role, Sean Penn visited L.A. Goal, a center in Los Angeles for mentally disabled persons.
Shailene Woodley auditioned for a role but lost out to Dakota Fanning.
This is the favorite movie of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
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.
There was originally to be a line where Brad (Brad Silverman) asks Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer), "Are you wearing a Wonder Bra? Because you look wonderful today..." but Silverman thought the line was offensive to David E. Kelley (Pfeiffer's husband) and refused to say it.
Dakota Fanning has a disabled aunt in real life.
Film debut of Elle Fanning.
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This movie was later remade in India with the title "Mai Aisa Hi Hoon," starring the Indian superstar Ajay Devgan.
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