I Am Sam (Movie)

‘I Am Sam’- Assessment Sam is the main character in ‘I Am Sam’. He faces a number of issues throughout the movie, but the main hardship is to gain custody of his daughter. Sam’s role is a mentally retarded male, with a mental capacity of a seven year old. Sam’s daughter, Lucy, is seven and her teachers fear that Sam’s aptitude is holding her back because she does not want to be smarter than her father. Lucy loves Sam very much, however she knows he was not the average father, as she told her best friend that she was adopted.

Lucy is taken away from Sam by the authorities and is only given visitational rights for a couple of hours each week while under supervision. Sam desperately seeks to gain back custody of Lucy. The approach Sam uses to muddle through this adversity, is trying to find a lawyer who can represent him in court. Rita Harrison Williams is a top-notch lawyer and informs Sam he can’t afford her. As a result, Rita’s work colleagues assume she would never do Pro Bono because she is too good for that, however to Sam’s advantage, Rita decides to prove them wrong and takes Sam’s case on Pro Bono.

This is great for Sam because he gets a top-quality lawyer to represent him in court for free, this illustrates Sam would have never been able to afford a lawyer in the first place, as Sam is aware of this himself, saying “Yeah, because I make $8. 00 an hour at Starbucks. Per hour. It’s an hourly rate. ” To a large extent, I think this tactic had benefited Sam as he had an excellent lawyer, which gave him a better chance to have some rights to Lucy.

Rita knows Sam’s chances are slim for getting full custody of Lucy but in the end, with all characters coming to an agreement, Sam gets joint custody of Lucy with her adoptive parents which was of crucial importance both to the relationship between father and daughter and most importantly Lucy having a well balanced upbringing and not being held back intellectually, emotionally or financially. Without Rita, Sam would have lost all his visiting rights to Lucy and this would have led to the destruction of Sam mentally even further.

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This is why I believe Rita had a significant impact, with such a successful outcome. This film has changed my views on parents with a disability and them having normal children. Sam realized he couldn’t raise Lucy by himself and yearned for Lucy to have a mother. Sam to Randy (adoptive mother): “If I tell you a secret, that I can’t do it by myself… because I always wanted Lucy to have a mother… Help. I need somebody. Help. Not just anyone. I believe that mentally retarded people are capable of giving loads of love to a child, they would cherish them heaps, but I don’t think they can give their child/ren the required thought mentally, intellectually or financially. If people with mental disabilities so desire to raise their child, they should be granted joint custody with another sound adoptive family, as in this particular film, thus I don’t know if a vast amount of adoptive parents in this day and age would be accommodating to this kind of arrangement.

This movie also portrays to what extent a parent is willing to sacrifice their environment, security and finances both mentally and physically for their child/ren. This movie couldn’t really help me as a person, as I feel it does not relate to me directly, though the clear message I obtained was, there is ‘always a solution’ for an issue, so long as you ‘consider others involved’ and meet half way and ‘compromise’ so you achieve a ‘positive outcome for all’ parties involved, not just for ones self-seeking way.

Sam also taught Rita the meaning of love and whether you could endure love single-handedly, however this was very apparent in the film as having a negative outcome if it was solely based on love alone. I would rate the movie ‘I Am Sam’ 7 out of 10 because I liked the ideas, morals and story line of the film, but it had some inauspicious aspects to it. The idea to base the movie on a mentally retarded man is unique and I admire plots that are out of the ordinary.

However, the critical aspect of the film was, it’s predictability, most of the scenes/settings had a blue tinge to it (e. g. court room, place where authorities were keeping Lucy and Rita’s house) giving the movie/scene a colder, detached feeling, especially in the scenes where you were suppose to have happy tears, the plot was also a tad slow although it was an emotionally touching film, I’d imagine this film could have offended some viewers.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and it brought a tear to my eye, though it did not keep me mesmerized, thus loosing focus now and then. I would recommend ‘I am Sam’ to someone wanting to watch a movie that will touch them emotionally or someone trying to ‘overcome adversity’, so they learn ‘compromise’, but otherwise it’s not really a film I would recommend to anyone for the sake of it.

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