Kristine Johnson, Jessie Nelson
Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
Sheenna Jey O. Corollo
As a human being, what is a definition of the word parent to you? Is it the amount of intellectual maturity displayed or the level of love given?1 Is it possible that a mentally challenged man can give the love and care that a child need as they grew up which should a parent give to their child? I Am Sam is a 2001 American drama film written and directed by Jessie Nelson. Jessie Nelson and Kristine Johnson, who co-wrote the screenplay, researched the issues facing adults with developmental disabilities by visiting the non-profit organization L.A. Goal (Greater Opportunities for the Advanced Living). They subsequently cast two actors with disabilities, Brad Silverman and Joe Rosenberg, in key roles. For his role as Sam, Penn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor at the74th Academy Awards in 2002. The movie's title is named for the line "Sam I am" featured in the book Green Eggs and Ham, which is read in the movie.2 Sam Dawson (Sean Penn) is a man with special needs who fights to regain the custody of his seven-year-old daughter Lucy Diamond Dawson (Dakota Fanning) which named after the famous Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."3 Although Lucy's mother, a homeless woman, leaves right after Lucy is born, Sam never gives up. He works as janitor at Starbucks and with help from an agoraphobic neighbour Annie Cassell (Dianne Wiest), he’s doing fine. Sam also gets some help from an entourage of retarded pals, and all goes along pretty well until Lucy, at age seven, begins to surpass Sam’s intellectual ability. The Family Protective Services take Lucy away on her 7th birthday which Sam has a birthday surprise to her. Sam gets intense lawyer Rita Harrison (Michelle Pfeiffer) to help him and soon enough, she learns from Sam to take time to smell the roses and play...