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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.32%
Worth A Look: 22.97%
Average: 2.7%
Pretty Bad35.14%
Total Crap: 14.86%

3 reviews, 56 user ratings

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I am Sam
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Stephen Groenewegen

"Simple is as simple does"
2 stars

Besides Sean Pennís performance, I am Sam has no grounding in reality.

Itís the story of Sam (Penn), a single parent with the mental ability of a seven year old, raising a daughter (Dakota Fanning) who surpasses him intellectually. Fanning and Penn make a sweet father-daughter and the issue is a live one. But the screenplay (by Kristine Johnson and director Jessie Nelson) is plain dumb. Samís choice is reduced to bringing up the kid on his own with next to no support or having her taken to a foster home and never seeing her again.

Michelle Pfeiffer tries hard with a poorly and under-written character. Sheís a tough bitch family lawyer who learns about lifeís simple pleasures from Samís patience. Some wonderful actors fill out the supporting roles Ė Dianne Wiest, Laura Dern, Mary Steenburgen, Doug Hutchison. And Elliot Davisí bright cinematography at least saves I am Sam from looking too much like a telemovie.

But this film is way too long. The twists and turns in the legal hearing get increasingly ludicrous. Thereís no feeling of authenticity so itís hard to take what happens to any of these characters seriously - in spite of Nelson ultimately slopping on the sentiment with a trowel.

Filling the soundtrack with Beatles covers, on the pretext that Sam is a Beatles fan, is a feeble gimmick. It also frequently makes I am Sam as dull to listen to as it is to watch.

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originally posted: 09/18/02 13:58:10
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User Comments

3/29/08 Pamela White Sean makes a wonderful dad 5 stars
10/18/06 Louie The film made me cry!!! 5 stars
10/08/06 Mc Dowell It's one of the best film I'v ever seen...I keep on watching it for around 15 times 5 stars
4/15/06 okierazorbacker Tremendously sweet and moving, but Pfeiffer & Dern's parts are not believable 4 stars
6/18/05 love good movie, but not very realistic 4 stars
3/16/05 Florence The are scenes that made me cry, true... But it's still unrealistic... 4 stars
1/01/05 SnailWithoutAShell You have to have ice running through your veins if you didn't shed just 1 tear 5 stars
11/22/04 BIll WIllett Too bad we don't have more real life movies like this. That's the problem with the world t 5 stars
11/12/04 jellica very emotional but very sad 5 stars
11/04/04 j j 5 stars
7/29/04 khay it is really a touching movie and i guess we should always maintain the equality between al 5 stars
6/27/04 piyush really heart touching movie 5 stars
6/10/04 Daveman Favours manipulation and utterly absurd melodrama over any real insight. 2 stars
9/28/03 JJ A REAL tearjerker with very good acting! 4 stars
9/04/03 Goofy Maxwell Next to the millions of illiterate and abusive adults makin babies, Sam is dad of the year. 4 stars
8/21/03 The Chronic 'manipulated emotions', I love it. Isn't a movie supposed to make you feel something? 4 stars
7/02/03 TheOthersFan offensive in the way it exploits mental handicaps in order to elicit an emotional reaction. 1 stars
6/26/03 cochese Sean Penn playing a retard? Not a stretch and not acting. 1 stars
6/04/03 Charles Tatum Horrendously directed flick has no basis in reality 1 stars
5/24/03 Mr. Do ..hmm.. after a night's sleep, not so bad after all. I'm sorry 4 stars
5/23/03 Mr. Do Stinkin' Shit Suck movie. Earth will be a better place if they stop 'making' this shit 1 stars
4/22/03 mr. Pink Underrated, because of the subject. It's more balanced and less showy than e.g. Rain Man. 4 stars
4/20/03 save the children Anyone who allows a person with the mentallity of a 6 yearold to raise a child needs prison 1 stars
4/17/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik It's confirmed: Jessie Nelson was put on Earth to manipulate your emotions. 1 stars
3/29/03 pinkline jones ....sorry I was asleep for the last hour of this one 1 stars
2/27/03 Vangela emotional pornography. penn is exposed as a hypocrite. 1 stars
1/09/03 Chowie fanbloodytastic 5 stars
12/07/02 Kyle Great acting by Penn. And Michelle too! 4 stars
10/20/02 palaboy101 well {{{ozzie}}} you bashed the movie to smithereens, idiot 4 stars
10/06/02 Jgsmeall Ultimately tries too hard to secure an emotional reaction and drowns in its own tears 2 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Why in God's name was Penn in this shit? 1 stars
9/08/02 viking come on, it wasn't all that bad. At least Sean Penn was convincing 4 stars
9/03/02 brien I wish my dad was this retarded when i was a teenager.. 1 stars
8/30/02 Jenny An overall great movie 5 stars
8/17/02 LyonHeart44 I LOVED this movie....back when it was still called Kramer vs. Kramer, that is. 2 stars
7/30/02 Monday Morning Hey, Romulus & Remus were raised by wolves & founded Rome, so what the hell? 4 stars
6/23/02 save the children What person with the mental ability of a 5 or 6 year old has the right to raise a child. 2 stars
6/10/02 steve donaghy i love crying at a good this was great. so i cried a river all three times i saw this movie 5 stars
6/10/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi i absolutely loved this film, ive neva cried so much! sean shood have won the oscar!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/02/02 Chris By not treating mental disabled people as a big joke, I Am Sam honors itself. 4 stars
3/26/02 Angela Chase Who knew Sean could act? He was amazing in this picture!!! 5 stars
3/26/02 Tracy Frummond Sean Penn's beautiful portrayal ROBBED by just another corrupt cop role. ACADEMY EATS SHIT! 5 stars
3/25/02 Natalie Stonecipher Superb! Sean Penn should win best actor and even Michelle Pfeiffer grows on you. 5 stars
3/12/02 spaceworm Not the poke in the eye I'd heard about(and Michelle is a fine cure for poked eyes anyway). 3 stars
2/22/02 voltron Good acting by Penn; a bit of a tear jerker but pulled off well. 4 stars
2/15/02 Michael Votto Fantastic acting by Penn and Fanning. 4 stars
2/11/02 the Grinch I don't think Sean Penn was acting.... 2 stars
2/09/02 Suzz Nauseating camera work; Pfeiffer yells constantly. Left with a headache and upset stomach 2 stars
1/31/02 Don Hite Lacked depth and character development, also the shaky camera made me nauseous 2 stars
1/29/02 ajay go to this if you really like to cry, and you like laughing at those "cute" retards 2 stars
1/29/02 Ben Jammin' Don't care what anybody says... I liked it! 5 stars
1/28/02 KMAN Not a masterpiece but worth a look 4 stars
1/25/02 laurie I would not torment myself by attempting to view this crap! 1 stars
1/10/02 Elizabeth The actors in this movie were very powerful & truly brought out their characters role. 5 stars
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  25-Jan-2002 (PG-13)



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