Essay on Critical Review Sam I Am

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Critical Review: I Am Sam The movie, I am Sam, is the portrayal of a mentally retarded single parent struggling to maintain custody of his normal intelligence daughter. Within his circle of acquaintances are four special needs adults who are his close friends and two normal intelligence adults who exhibit disordered behavior. The writers, Kristin Johnson and Jessie Nelson, spent months researching and observing developmentally disabled adults in order to provide an accurate representation of the issues faced by the special needs population. The central character is Sam Dawson around whom the movie is woven. Sean Penn, the actor who took the role of Sam, spent time at an organization called LA Goal (Inside Out Productions), a workshop …show more content…
unrecognized mental disorder, history of emotional deprivation or childhood abuse, atypical parenting experiences, domestic violence, isolation, poverty and poor housing as well as inadequate information gathering by assessors which can lead to ‘erroneous assumptions’ about competency.” (O'Keeffe, 2008) The movie, I Am Sam, was mostly believable, however, parts were certainly “Hollywood.” Sam is a minimum wage worker but somehow maintains an apartment where he is able to have an elaborate birthday party for his daughter, Lucy. He brings a big bouncy room into the apartment, provides a sheet cake, and has many of Lucy’s friends come to the party. Earlier in the film, as he was preparing Lucy to begin school, he is shown with his posse of friends taking Lucy to purchase new shoes. At that time, he is shown having difficulty with handling money and not having enough cash to purchase the shoes. His friends come to his aide and all contribute their pocket change. It seems unlikely that his money handling ability would improve in just two years and that he would have funds available for the elaborate party. It was at Lucy’s party that Sam over reacts to the taunts of one of her classmates bringing in the authorities that remove Lucy from her home. Sam’s distress is completely believeable as are his responses to the angst suffered by his lawyer as the film progresses. My younger sister is mentally retarded and