: : : I Am Sam

Story

I Am Sam makes you laugh, cry, and recoil all at the same time. Perhaps no other film of recent memory has epitomized the shameless sentimentality of Hollywood as succinctly as director and screenwriter Jessie Nelson's story of a mentally challenged man fighting to retain custody of his 7-year-old daughter. Sam (Sean Penn), who has the mental age of 7, wipes down tables at a Los Angeles Starbucks and takes good care of his daughter Lucy, who was left with him shortly after birth by a homeless woman. Sam has gotten by just fine with a little help from his friends, including his eccentric neighbor (Diane Wiest) and a lovable group of similarly challenged friends, but a series of misunderstandings leaves Sam fighting to get Lucy back from the state. Sam's lawyer, Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer), is an overly ambitious woman whose life is soon transformed by proximity to Sam's brimming humanity. Sean Penn is, as usual, wholeheartedly committed to his role and turns in an admirable, if overtly affected performance. However, I Am Sam, with all its earnest charm, reaches an emblematic low when Sam, a character apparently devoid of any authentic sentiment, delivers a courtroom speech memorized from Kramer vs. Kramer as the film's finale. --Fionn Meade

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

Sean PennSam Dawson
Michelle PfeifferRita Harrison Williams
Dakota FanningLucy Diamond Dawson
Dianne WiestAnnie Cassell
Loretta DevineMargaret Calgrove
Richard SchiffMr. Turner
Laura DernRandy Carpenter
Stanley DesantisRobert
Doug HutchisonIfty
Rosalind ChaoLily
Ken JenkinsJudge Philip McNeily
Mary SteenburgenDr. Blake
Brent SpinerShoe Salesman

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Jessie Nelson
  • Producer: Warner Brothers
  • Length: 133 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 25, 2002
    EuropeMay 10, 2002
    JapanJun 8, 2002
    AustraliaJun 13, 2002
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe12
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaFeb 3, 2004
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