I Am Sam script
I Am Sam (2001)
Synopsis: I Am Sam (stylized i am sam) is a 2001 American drama film written and directed by Jessie Nelson, and starring Sean Penn as a father with a developmental disability, Dakota Fanning as his inquisitive daughter, and Michelle Pfeiffer as his lawyer. Dianne Wiest, Loretta Devine, Richard Schiff and Laura Dern appear in supporting roles. Jessie Nelson and Kristine Johnson, who co-wrote the screenplay, researched the issues facing adults with intellectual disabilities by visiting the non-profit organization L.A. GOAL (Greater Opportunities for the Advanced Living). They subsequently cast two actors with disabilities, Brad Silverman and Joe Rosenberg, in key roles.

INT. STARBUCKS - 7:30 A.M.

We're watching a pair of hands arrange white sugar packets,

blue Equal packets, and pink Sweet and Low into small

containers. With precision and lightning speed, the mixed up

colors and crumpled packets are transformed into neat little

color-coded rows. Wait, this container has three Equals and

four Sweet 'n' lows. The hand quickly plucks the mutant

Sweet 'n' Low. There. Symmetry.

We move up those hands and meet SAM DAWSON as he surveys his

domain. Something about him. He's extremely compelling,

uniquely handsome. But it's more than that. Those eyes,

they sparkle with the wonder of a child. Life's cynical edge

has not etched it's path across this face. They light on a

COFFEE CUP held by one of the Regulars.

SAM:

Double double decaf low-fat Cap.

BRUCE:

You got it, buddy.

SAM:

Good choice very good choice.

Sam moves along, commenting to CUSTOMERS as he places Sweet

'n Lows on tables, the self-appointed host of Starbucks.

SAM (CONT'D)

Mocha rumba Frappuccino no whipped, half

low, half non. Excellent choice. Very

good choice.

He stops in front of sale mugs and turns them so that the

logos all face the same way. His boss GEORGE approaches.

GEORGE:

Sam, they called. It's time for you to

go.

Sam FREEZES, but doesn't turn around.

GEORGE (CONT'D)

Sam, did you hear me?

SAM:

"It's time for you to go."

GEORGE:

Yes.

SAM:

It's time.

GEORGE:

Good luck.

Without another word, Sam walks straight out the door.

EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET - DAY

Sam, still in his white apron, walks down the busy street.

He has a fast, loping gait that doesn't slow or hesitate for

anyone. A COUPLE argue on the sidewalk. Sam WALKS RIGHT

BETWEEN THEM.

SAM:

It's time. It's time.

Sam keeps moving, he crosses the street without stopping.

Traffic SCREECHES to a HALT! Cars HONK, a taxi driver YELLS.

SAM (CONT'D)

It's time, it's time for you to go.

INT. HALLWAY - LATER

Sam plows down the hall and comes to room 324.

SAM:

Rebecca!

Sam pushes the DOOR OPEN. And we REALIZE we are entering: A

HOSPITAL LABOR DELIVERY ROOM AT LA COUNTY HOSPITAL.

REBECCA is in the middle of a major contraction. Her face is

the opposite of Sam's. Hardened. She lets out a scream that

stops Sam dead in his tracks. GERTIE, a no-nonsense Black

Nurse, looks up from the monitor.

GERTIE:

You the one responsible for this?

Sam nods, taking Gertie quite literally.

SAM:

I'm sorry.

GERTIE:

Too late for sorries, daddy, get over

here and hold her hand.

Sam reaches for Rebecca's hand. She pulls it away. ANOTHER

CONTRACTION - Rebecca screams. Sam SCREAMS.

NURSE:

You got a live one, Gert.

INT. LABOR ROOM - LATER

DR. JAMISON

Okay, this is it!

SAM:

(spins in circles)

This is it! This is it!

DR. JAMISON

And it's a girl...

The BABY lets out her first cry. Sam watches, awestruck.

Gertie wraps the baby in a blanket and holds her out to

Rebecca. Rebecca shakes her head - NOT NOW. Gertie walks

over to Sam.

GERTIE:

There's someone who's been waitin' an

awful long time to see you, Sam.

She places the BABY into SAM'S ARMS. Suddenly Sam's whole

body RELAXES and becomes very still. He looks to Rebecca,

but she has turned away. He meets Gertie's eyes. Then in

quiet amazement:

SAM:

This is it.

GERTIE:

What's her name?

SAM:

(looks at clock)

Let me see let me see let me see.

12:
17, March 2nd. Lucy in the Sky with

Diamonds. Recorded March 2nd. 1967.

Lyrics by John Lennon, music by Paul

McCartney. Lucy Diamond Dawson.

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Kristine Johnson

Kristine Johnson (born June 5, 1972, in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines), is a co-anchor at WCBS-TV in New York City, New York, on the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts with Maurice DuBois. more…

All Kristine Johnson scripts | Kristine Johnson Books

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