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By Ron Wells | January 25, 2002

I’ve lost a hero today. No matter how crazy he appeared, I always thought Sean Penn was all about honesty and integrity. He never went for the typical studio Oscar-pandering holiday “prestige” film. Now, thanks to writer/director Jessie Nelson (the perpetrator behind “Corrina, Corrina”, “The Story of Us”, and “Stepmom”), he’s playing an autistic/mentally-challenged Beatles-obsessed man locked in a custody battle for a lovable 7-year-old tow-headed moppet. See, she just passed her father in mental capacity and the melodramatic hijinx begin. Better yet, Michelle Pfeiffer plays Penn’s high-strung, big-time attorney having a hard time being a parent, and Dianne Wiest is the agoraphobic, former piano-prodigy neighbor. All the film needs is a dying gay man, a mystical Negro, a troubled undercover cop, some British accents and a war and we’d have the entire decathalon of clichéd horse-s**t.
While you might find something salvageable in the idea of a mentally-handicapped man raising a child of normal intelligence, most people realize their parents are idiots and are embarrassed to be around them anyway by the age of 12. This movie is every bit as painful as it sounds. There were at least 10 times throughout the screening that I felt like putting my fist through a plate glass window. Sure, it would have hurt, but at least it would have taken my mind off the pain in front of me. Is this what Sean Penn has come to in his 40s? He hasn’t appeared this retarded since he was married to Madonna. At least there are a couple of gems on the wall-to-wall Beatles cover soundtrack. Save your money for that.

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  1. LJC says:

    I really don’t understand how some people don’t love this movie. It is full of insights and moral lessons. It is a deep reminder to all of us that mentally challenged people also have feelings. Because nowadays, people will look down at them, laugh and are being so insensitive. And you are insensitive with your review sir. I just can’t and this makes me sad. But I would like to say that Sean Penn has showed his skills as an actor in this movie and it is not everyday that you see someone who nails it.

  2. JJ says:

    And another thing, I would like to put my fist through your face and spare my eyes from this horse sh$t blog/review.

  3. JJ says:

    I think you are the biggest piece of sh$t that has graced God’s green Earth. It was painful to read your garbage review with zero insight. This was a lovely movie and none of your arguments were truly compelling or worthy of mention. I hope by now you are fired and your kids have left you because they saw what a big retard YOU are. People like you make me sick. It’s one thing not to like a movie but it’s a another to display such pointless empathy you jacka$$. Fk off you moron.

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