7.6/10
129,339
445 user 128 critic

I Am Sam (2001)

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

Reviews
Popularity
2,081 ( 298)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Brad Silverman ...
Brad (as Brad Allan Silverman)
Joseph Rosenberg ...
Joe
...
...
...
Lily
...
Judge McNeily
...
Miss Wright
Mason Lucero ...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo soy Sam  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,993 (USA) (4 January 2002)

Gross:

$40,311,852 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Elle Fanning. See more »

Goofs

When Sam and Lucy are being observed and they are talking, just before Lucy talks to the people observing her she turns her head towards the "camera". The next shot, she turns her head again before talking. See more »

Quotes

[making fun of Lucy's dad]
Conner Rhodes: Sorry, Mr. Egg.
See more »

Connections

References The Flintstones (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Strawberry Fields Forever
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Ben Harper
Ben Harper appears courtesy of Virgin Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mentally challenged single dad fights to care for daughter
1 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sean Penn as a devoted father (Sam) who despite mental challenges, fights for the right to raise his child is convincing in a complete departure from his usual "bad guy" characters. Michelle Pfeiffer plays his reluctant "pro bono" elite lawyer, who eventually puts 110% into this case.

The love between Sam and his 7 year old daughter is evident in many sweet scenes (got Kleenex?), best described by a reclusive neighbor (wonderfully played by Dianne Wiest), who overcomes her hermit-like condition long enough to testify in Sam's behalf. Even the social workers who insisted on doing everything to "help the child" appear to be fighting emotions over this unusual case. The "support system", which includes several equally challenged "buddies", a very supportive employer, and many other people in the community gives evidence of our changing society, fostering inclusion and tolerance. Eventually even the prospective adoptive parents of Sam's daughter can't go on fighting against this exemplary father.

The girl playing Sam's daughter appears to be "gifted", at age 7 reading middle school material. Perhaps the "difference" between father & daughter's intelligence did not have to be in such an obvious extreme. The implication of a romantic involvement between Sam and his lawyer could have been avoided as well. The former is stretching it, but the latter is going too far. One can suspend her/his disbelief only so much! Since there are no "perfect" movies, I still consider this one pretty darn close! Highly recommended.


72 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page