Bottom Line: Oh, boy. A filmmaker has an epiphany. “As if we care” barely starts a summary.
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Insipid documentary is (supposedly) a telling of the three-year epiphany of Tom Shadyac, director of well-known comedies such as LIAR LIAR and THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. Through excerpts of these films as well as other films, personal narration, and interviews ranging in familiarity from his friends to Desmond Tutu.
Though the film is, at times, a clear presentation of utter tragedy, there is one aspect of the film that truly stands out as tragic itself: the comedy, whether unintentional or intentional, almost constantly seems to undermine the poignant, mature concept of viewing the world differently. We could easily get the intended effect in only three short minutes from listening to Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. Next to that is all the unrelated material thrown in for an entire hour, made to look inspiring and uplifting. With all the irrelevant mentions of quantum physics, Darwinism, and biology, I lost count of how many times I yelled, “What!?”, as if Shadyac himself could hear me, in just a period of 76 minutes. My mistake–Shadyac unbelievably manages to tie all this nonsense into the plot within the last forty-five seconds of the film.
I have seen three or four of Tom Shadyac’s films, and I can’t exactly say I cared for many of them or even found them all that funny. I did not expect I AM to be funny, but I did expect it, with a theme of such strong, emotional quality, to be somewhat decent. Needless to say, I feel cheated. This film runs for just over an hour and fifteen minutes, but with the number of yawns it is sure to elicit, it feels more like at least twice that. You’ll have a better bet with both humor and inspiration by YouTubing Homer’s epiphany scene from THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. You’ll also save about 70 significant minutes of your life.