If you aren't already aware, Sean Penn plays a 40
year old man with the mental capacity of a seven year old. This gave
him only two possible career opportunities:
1. Busboy/janitor at Starbucks
2. Lead actor in "Zorro"
he cleans the tables, he is also trying to raise a real seven year old,
but some evil uncaring court workers are trying to take the girl away
from him. He hires a hotshot lawyer (Michele Pfeiffer) who agrees to
take his case pro bono.
Yawn, yawn, yada,
yada, Hollywood cornball, the usual suspects.
DVD info from Amazon.
Commentary by director / Co-screenwriter Jessie Nelson
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Original Documentary: Becoming Sam
• Deleted and Alternate Scenes with optional director commentary
• DVD-ROM CONTENT: Script-to-Screen, Link to Original
Website, Hot Spot
• Widescreen anamorphic format
The script has big problems:
- Everyone can see that Penn's seven year old is
the perfect child - caring, mature, curious, intelligent. He has
raised her alone up until that point. What more proof of his ability
do they need? Of course, you can't win any Oscars in a three minute
- The person that Penn is playing would be given to
routine and repetition, but there is so much repetition that his
quirks become extraordinarily irritating. I don't know how many
times Penn tells a Starbucks customer - "that' s a wonderful
choice". I don't suggest playing one of those games where you have
to drink each time he says that, because I don't think humans can
tolerate that much alcohol in two hours. And that's only one
example. There are several other similar examples, and Sean Penn is
on screen the entire time, so if you have a low tolerance for
repetition (as I do), you really want to avoid this movie.
- The resolution doesn't seem credible, and it
doesn't seem like the best alternative for the girl.
General UK consensus:
less than one star. Daily Mail 2/10, Daily Telegraph 2/10,
Independent 2/10, The Guardian 2/10, The Times 2/10, Evening
Standard 1/10, The Express 4/10, The Mirror 0/10, BBC 2/5
- IMDB summary.
IMDb voters score it 7.1/10, Guardian votes 5.2/10
- with their dollars: budget $22 million,
gross $40 million
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this description, this
film is a C. Typical Hollywood schmaltz.