I Am Sam proves that just throwing in a handicapped character doesn’t make a film worth viewing.
Sean Penn does give a great performance as Sam Dawson, a mentally handicapped man. Sam’s only motive to his menial existence is scraping together money at Starbucks to give money to his daughter Lucy so they can survive. His daughter is played delightfully by Dakota Fanning. The film grips with Lucy becoming the parent as her intellect reaches beyond that of her father’s. Then inject Michelle Pfeiffer as a lawyer who is to save the day after Sam convinces her to help him.
The problem with I Am Sam is that it tries to hard too tug at the heartstrings and prays that alone will be enough. Penn’s performance alone should have been glue enough to hold this film together, but there is too much to unravel. There is too much syrup to spoil all of the pieces.
+ charlie craine