Tom Shadyac was once a big time Hollywood director. His blockbuster successes included "Ace Ventura," "The Nutty Professor," and "Bruce Almighty." That was before a cycling accident recalibrated his priorities. He sold off his multiple mansions and private jets to downsize his life to a manageable form. "I Am" represents Shadyac's documentary journey in search of what is wrong with the world, and what he (or we) can do to fix it. The hippie-looking director interviews remarkable intellectuals from science, philosophy, academia, and faith in search of an answer. Even if "I Am" provides an end-run on an answer that most six-year-olds already know intuitively, it doesn't hurt to be reminded in an entertaining way that the globe is one big organism. "The ocean is nothing but many drops of water." Every action big or small, has a ripple effect that is far beyond what we can comprehend. Shadyac now teaches at a local community college. His motto is taken from Gandhi. "Live simply, so others may simply live." It certainly isn't the worst idea you could spend 80 minutes mulling over in a movie theater.
Not Rated. 80 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)
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