Film review: ‘I Am’
Wed, Apr 27, 2011 (7:04 p.m.)
While recovering from injuries sustained in a severe bike accident, Hollywood filmmaker Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor) found himself seriously re-evaluating his life and his view on the world. He subsequently downgraded his massive fortune and channeled his spiritual quest into the ironically self-absorbed documentary I Am, in which Shadyac consults scholars, scientists and religious leaders about the meaning of life. It boils down to easy platitudes (“all you need is love”), stock footage, Black Eyed Peas songs (“Where Is the Love?”), questionable scientific practices (a researcher shows Shadyac how his emotional state affects some yogurt) and Shadyac’s flaunting of just how much money and stuff he had to get rid of. The director is well-intentioned and amiable enough, and his years in Hollywood have made him skilled at packaging what is essentially a feel-good commercial. But the truth is that Shadyac’s dumb comedies have probably done a lot more to bring happiness to humanity.