on 10 July 2012
I absolutely loved this film. Sean Penn was amazing as the father with autism of a little girl who was neuro typical. Penn had obviously done his research on autism and played the part brilliantly. It was moving, funny, and just such a lovely film. I would highly recommend it.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2003
If you can be sure of one thing, it's that both the character Sam (Sean Penn) and the film in generally both have two sides. Sam, is immature, mentally challenged and obviously childlike...on the other hand he is seemingly the most loving and caring human being on the planet (uttering ''That's a wonderful choice!'' to everyone who purchases coffee from Starbucks where he works)...the film itself's two sides consist of these: This is a heart-felt, emotional, powerful film about disability and fighting it, and the battle with life itself to warm the heart...or it could be a shameless attempt to woo the critics and to win an Oscar...as someone who has seen this film 5 times now, I thoroughly agree with the theory.
I Am Sam is an unusual idea for a film, and that's why I can see that many would see this as a shameless attempt at being recognised, but in the end it is a great idea, and I believe the character Sam, who has the mental capacity of a seven year old, portrays his part brilliantly. And let's face it being married to Madonna must cripple you...but it's an amazing performance from Penn, probably much better than you might expect, but ask your seven year old son and he'll tell you how it feels. His daughter, Lucy (Dakota Fanning, named after the Beatles song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds), also plays a great part and will hopefully appear in more films, as she showed maturity and played her part well and added to all the other performances.
The film is serious, but yet feel-good and very funny too, but not to an extent where it is offensive. Sam's friends, who consist of a complete and total film buff, and someone who thinks he's being watched all the time, add some laughs and never cross the line.
I think anyone could enjoy this film, but it generally depends on your mood. If you're into feel-good flicks, or like films about fighting for something you want (a-la, Hallmark channel, but better) then you will adore this. If you don't like films such as this, then you shouldn't have read this far. If there's one thing, it's certainly an interesting watch. And it lifts you. I Am Sam also contains many Beatles songs reworked (They weren't allowed to use the original songs) by popular artists such as the Sterophonics (unfortunatly), Sheryl Crow, The Black Crowes and Nick Cave, but the most notable song of all is Eddie Vedder's (of Pearl Jam) take on 'Hide Your Love Away', and is certainly better than the original, as are most of the tracks on the soundtrack CD and in the film itself. But I Am Sam has to be one of the most under-rated films in years and I Am Sam is certainly no attempt to shamelessly steal trophies. You can just see it in his eyes. 5 Stars.