One movie I have successfully avoided for 9 long years is I Am Sam. I have good reasons: I'm not sappy enough to go for drama movies, I have a long-running bad vibes trip for both celebrity brats Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning (thanks to TMZ), and I have a malignant soft spot for people with disabilities. Whenever I see them in a situation where they are questioned or threatened, I go into maternal lioness mode, step in between, and get in trouble.
Never has a movie made me cry so much on so many scenes!
1. When Sam (Sean) and Lucy (Dakota) were playing on the swings on time lapse. Father and child bonding always makes me soggy with emotion.
2. When it has become clear that Lucy has exceeded her father's mental ability, and she started dumbing herself down. It's amazing how children can be very compassionate. They're not always little monsters.
3. When Sam explained that he and his daughter have 'same smarts'. Because it's true! Parents should never assume that they always know better than their children. Being older doesn't always make one wiser. Parents can be smarter than their children on some things, and their children can be smarter than their parents in some things. I'm not even talking about disabilities here. This is a fact for everyone.
4. When Sam had a breakdown in court when the prosecutor attacked him by saying he's not worthy to raise Lucy. Ah, maternal lioness mode, ON! Who the hell actually decides that? Is there a rule book on perfect parenting that a lucky few has found??? Even people known to have high IQs fail at parenting. Background has nothing to do with parenting. As Lucy put it brilliantly, "All you need is love."
Now that's me on full sappy mode.
5. When the lawyer, Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer), cried about not being a good enough parent because of her career. And that she loses patience on her son and yells at him to cover up her parenting flop. Nuff said. This was soooo me! :(
Still clutching Jing's tear-soaked shirt (I wept on the poor man's chest the whole time) --no matter how delayed a reaction this may be-- I laud Sean, Dakota, and Michelle for their impeccable performance. I laud the Beatles soundtrack and historical reference to the legendary band in the film. I laud a story that makes us rethink our parenting styles. I laud myself for finally watching this movie.
Now I wish my kids would come back from school already so I could hug them ever so tightly.