I Am Sam

Rated NR

This overly sappy Hollywood custody battle needs a little caffeine kick of its own to crank it up a notch from Oxygen Channel schmaltz to attention-getting drama that borders at least somewhere close to reality. Sean Penn stars in a sensational performance of a mentally challenged father working at the home of the extra double grande low fat low foam latte iced mocha who struggles to raise his loving daughter (Dakota Fanning) by himself on his Starbucks salary and Beatlemania metaphors. Once the Department of Family and Child Services gets wind of this, the two are separated and the unrealistic tear-jerker pushes full throttle with an impatient, self-centered pro bono lawyer (Michele Pfeiffer) becoming the parent she always wanted to be, a heartless prosecuting attorney (Richard Schiff), and an undying bond between father and daughter. Kleenex please. With the exaggerated screenplay, plot holes, and the tacked on ending after tacked on ending, it's a shame that the talent of the one-time Oscar nominee is wasted here. However, it hasn't stopped him from getting another Best Actor nod.

Film Credits

Director: Jessie Nelson

Cast: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer and Laura Dern

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