7.6/10
134,584
450 user 121 critic

I Am Sam (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 January 2002 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Jessie Nelson
Reviews
Popularity
3,801 ( 65)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Sam Dawson
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Rita
Dakota Fanning ... Lucy
Dianne Wiest ... Annie
Loretta Devine ... Margaret Calgrove
Richard Schiff ... Turner
Laura Dern ... Randy Carpenter
Brad Silverman Brad Silverman ... Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg Joseph Rosenberg ... Joe
Stanley DeSantis ... Robert
Doug Hutchison ... Ifty
Rosalind Chao ... Lily
Ken Jenkins ... Judge McNeily
Wendy Phillips ... Miss Wright
Mason Lucero 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo soy Sam See more »

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

In the very beginning shot, when Sam is sorting sugar packets in the holders, he puts the brown "raw sugar" packets in front. When he is shown setting the holders on the tables, the brown packets are in the middle. See more »

Quotes

Sam: Yeah, but I tried, I tried hard.
Rita: Try harder!
Sam: Yeah, but you don't know, you don't know!
Rita: I don't know WHAT?
Sam: Yeah, you don't know what is like when you try, and you try, and you try, and you try, and you don't ever get there! Because you were born perfect and I was born like this, and you're perfect!
Rita: Oh, is that right?
Sam: People like you don't know...
Rita: People like me?
Sam: People like you don't know what is like to get hurted. Because you don't have feelings. People like you don't feel anything!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Blackbird
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Sarah McLachlan
Sarah McLachlan appears courtesy of Arista Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Great film, but hard to watch at times
28 August 2002 | by Amy723See all my reviews

I Am Sam is a great movie that deals with marginalized people in our society and how they're treated. It's a very realistic portrayal. I watched it with my 13 year old daughter and it alternately made us cry, got us angry and caused us to laugh uncontrollably.

Sam is loved and respected by those who know him (Starbuck's patrons, IHOP Waitress, friends), taunted by those who have no regard for anyone different (Lucy's arrogant classmate and his equally arrogant father) and generally misunderstood by everyone else.

I especially liked the irony of the lawyer, who is an emotional train wreck, yet because she's an adult intellecutally, no one questions her ability as a parent. Sam on the other hand loves his daughter and it shows.

This movie is not for anyone looking for a "fun weekend rent". If you rent this, be prepared to have your values and your emotions challenged.


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